Back in 1980 when Jimmy Carter signed the monster into law (after it was pushed through the Senate by Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden) everyone jumped on board (every state but Wyoming!) and figured this was just one of those warm and fuzzy feel-good plans from Washington.
It was put on auto-pilot (no serious review by Congress has happened in 35 years) until now when the once seemingly innocuous program has grown so large, so costly and fraught with security risks that the public is finally paying attention.
Here is the latest on North Dakota, a state with one of the highest per capita rates of refugee placement, and where elected officials are now trying to figure out what rights they have to slow it or get out altogether.
The story is here at Breitbart where reporter Michael Patrick Leahy tells us how the North Dakota Senator and former governor doesn’t understand how the program works.
Read the story. Learn how much your state is on the hook for!
Every “humanitarian arrival” costs the US taxpayer a bare minimum of $10,000 per person. Do our Washington elected officials even have a clue?
I want to use this opportunity of the Breitbart story to highlight a brief mention of the cost of the program reporter Leahy mentions near the end. Here is what Leahy said:
Hoeven is not the only member of Congress who does not seem to understand how the federal refugee resettlement program works. In fact, hardly any members of Congress seem to have such an understanding. That may be the most obvious reason to explain why Congress continues to fund the VOLAGS who operate it to the tune of $1 billion a year.
Since a reader asked just this morning about the cost of the program (in light of the upcoming opportunity to testify), the best I can do is send you here to Obama’s proposed FY 2016 Report to Congress (from Sept. of 2015) on what the Administration said the program would cost the feds in this year (2016). Go to Table VII and see that they estimated $1.19 billion total. That includes $652 million for the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
However, when you go here to the Dept. of Health and Human Services FY2017 Budget Justification (begin on p. 244) you will see a very different story. Either the budget has dramatically increased (from 2016 to 2017) or Obama was downplaying the costs only 6 months ago.
Get this! Obama’s FY2017 budget includes (rounded number) $2.2 BILLION just for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) where they say they will care for 213,000 “humanitarian arrivals” including Obama’s 100,000 refugees he has been touting for next year.
The FY 2017 budget of $2,184,860,000 for this account represents the cost of maintaining current law and service requirements for additional refugees and other Entrants and unaccompanied children and for expanding assistance to domestic victms of trafficking. The funding levels for the Refugee and Entrant Assistance account in FY 2017, particularly with regard to Transitional and Medical Services, Social Services, Preventative Health, and Survivors of Torture programs.
The President’ Budget request would support a total of 213,000 humanitarian arrivals in FY 2017, including 100,000 refugees, consistent with the Administration’s commitment to admit at least this number of refugees in FY 2017. The FY 2017 base funding level for unaccompanied children represents an increase of $278,000,000, which is flat from the base resources available in FY 2016, including carryover.
I’m rotten at math, but doesn’t that amount to over $10,000 per refugee just for the ORR share.
That over $2 billion figure does not include the costs of the US State Department which pays contractors their per head fee and it doesn’t include the enormous security screening costs for the Dept. of Homeland Security for the large numbers arriving from Muslim countries.
And, it most certainly does not include the (surely!) billions in welfare payments, medical care and education for the children refugees receive.