Your tax dollars:
Update March 5th, 2010: Maybe a new number ten, here.
Update January 29th, 2010: There are nine federal contractors now, the State of Iowa has dropped out of the program, here.
People ask me all the time, how much does refugee resettlement cost the US. Frankly there is no way to figure that out with any accuracy. However, thanks to USA Spending you can get a little idea of how much the federal taxpayer shells out for the program.
I first told you about this handy website here, but when I first used it, it didn’t seem so up-to-date, but I notice now it is much improved.
USA Spending is where you can check out how much grant money (contracts too, but I didn’t go there) that businesses, local and state governments and non-profits are getting from the federal government. To start with I wanted to know how much the Top Ten volags (refugee resettlement contractors) were receiving now (in my previous post I found numbers for 2008). So here is what I found for FY2009:
Church World Service: $31,098,497 (Note that almost $900,000 of this went to their Washington DC office. We have heard that the US State Department pays for the volags DC offices, so I’m wondering if that is what that amount is for. Then I suppose they use the DC office to lobby for more money and for promoting comprehensive immigration reform, aka amnesty.)
Ethiopian Community Development Council: $7,898,621
Episcopal Migration Ministries: No report, so it must get its money in another name.
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society: $13,386,048
International Rescue Committee: $90,790,153
US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants: That is funny, there is no report for USCRI either and I even checked under its two other names, US Committee for Refugees and Immigration and Refugee Services of America.
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services: No report.
US Conference of Catholic Bishops: They have their money sent elsewhere because I’ve tried to search for them before. So, lacking any other way to find out where their (your) money goes, I’ve searched Catholic Charities and that amount for 2009 is $85,557,665.
World Relief Corporation: $23,112,641
State of Iowa, Bureau of Refugee Services: This is the tenth volag, but it’s beyond my abilities to figure out how much this agency gets. I see the whole Dept. of Human Services which is the parent agency to the Bureau of Refugee Services gets $71,231,004 from the federal taxpayer.
By the way, when you go to the links above, note in the lower right hand corner you can see how much each was awarded in previous years and you can also see a breakdown of what programs your tax dollars were used for.
Other refugee-related agencies that interested me:
International Organization for Migration: $301,623,246
UN High Commissioner for Refugees: $641,255,483 (You might want to look at previous years to see how much our funding for the UNHCR has grown)