As we have always suspected but have had little proof until now, it is more cost-effective to care for refugees in regions close to their homes rather than to bring them to the US.
Steven Camarata, Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies released a new analysis today.
As Americans continue to debate what to do about the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, this analysis attempts to estimate the costs of resettling refugees from that region in the United States. Although we do not consider all costs, our best estimate is that in their first five years in the United States each refugee from the Middle East costs taxpayers $64,370 — 12 times what the UN estimates it costs to care for one refugee in neighboring Middle Eastern countries.
The cost of resettlement includes heavy welfare use by Middle Eastern refugees; 91 percent receive food stamps and 68 percent receive cash assistance. Costs also include processing refugees, assistance given to new refugees, and aid to refugee-receiving communities. Given the high costs of resettling refugees in the United States, providing for them in neighboring countries in the Middle East may be a more cost-effective way to help them.
Continue reading here.
I suspect that these new numbers for the US are very conservative since we recently heard it will cost the UK, roughly $36,000 per refugee per year to bring Syrians into the UK.