Your tax dollars:
I just came across this interesting data base on each state. It is at the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). One can see the number of refugee cases and how much federal grant money is being allocated to your state. For instance you could have fun with the numbers by dividing the federal grant money by the number of refugees in the caseload for a given year. I just ran a few numbers and learned that some states get in the vicinity of $11,000 per refugee case (and that is just the money going to the state office and does not include money going directly to the volags).
Here is even a better one, West Virginia resettled one (yes, 1) refugee case in 2006 and received a federal grant totaling $100,522. Sen. Bobby Byrd in action?
There is other useful information too. Check it out here.
The Governor and Salt Lake County Mayor laud the creation of a new state department to handle the increased needs of a growing refugee community in Utah. They also need better coordination for dispensing federal funds. The article today in the Salt Lake Tribune suggests this new office is coming at a critical time to handle the anticipated flow of Iraqi refugees.
Catholic Community Services just resettled its first Iraqi family, said Vladimir Klaich, refugee resettlement program manager.
“This is just the beginning,” he said. “We expect to have many more, but we don’t know exactly when or how many will be coming.”
I’ve put some information about Utah in the “your state” page above to help you get started on research. However, now that I have found the handy little database at the Office of Refugee Resettlement here are a few nuggets about Utah. In 2006, Utah handled 766 cases and received $3,883,038 in federal grants. Those figures indicate that each case cost the taxpayer $5069. However keep in mind that this is only a portion of what it costs to resettle refugees. The volags are paid by the head by the US State Department then the refugees are on some form of welfare. 82% of the cases in 2006 were receiving medical benefits. That is no surprise because the average hourly wage was $7.35 for those who were working.
Utah ranks pretty low on the Bobby Byrd Scale. West Virginia had one case in 2006 and received $100,522 in federal grant money!