Report: Over Half of Refugees on Food Stamps

Border Between Mexico And The U.S.

The U.S. is a generous and humanitarian nation, with well over one million foreign refugees permanently settled here after fleeing violence, persecution or danger in their home countries.  But that generosity comes with a hefty price tag to the American taxpayer.  According to a new analysis of U.S. government data by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), 56 percent of all households headed by foreign refugees receive food stamps, and about 50 percent are on some form of public healthcare, like Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance.

Jason Richwine with CIS conducted the analysis on refugees, and is not surprised that the majority are a drain on public services.  "They are very likely to be on welfare and they have low levels of our economy, that means that they are going to be people who take more in services than they pay in taxes," he tells KTRH.  Richwine also found that many refugees never fully assimilate after coming to America.  "Refugees do improve their English certainly over time, but even after five years, we're still looking at over half saying they speak English not well or not at all."

Richwine believes the solution is not to stop helping refugees, but instead to do it in a smarter, more efficient way.  "Of course we should help refugees, but we have to consider the tradeoffs, and have to consider how best to do that," he says.  "We should certainly look into the idea of resettling more refugees in different parts of the world, where their cultures are more compatible, and also where there is a cost of living that's lower."

Government figures show that the U.S. has permanently resettled more than 1.7 million foreign refugees since 2008, but the number has significantly decreased since President Trump took office.

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