President Trump and the White House have just rejected a study from the Department of Health and Human Services that shows his projections on refugees and their cost to the government was wrong.
The report, which was obtained by the New York Times through a leak, shows that refugees actually bring in more government revenue than they cost, a striking $63 billion more over the past decade.
That’s a lot of money.
The narrative Trump has been trying to spin is that refugees are a drag on government resources, but the opposite appears to be true.
Trump’s chief policy adviser Stephen Miller has been instrumental in trying to project through the media that welcoming refugees into the United States is simply unaffordable. He has even tried to raise concerns about terrorism by permitting their acceptance into the United States, causing an intense debate in Washington.
Per the Times:
“The internal study, which was completed in late July but never publicly released, found that refugees “contributed an estimated $269.1 billion in revenues to all levels of government” between 2005 and 2014 through the payment of federal, state and local taxes. “Overall, this report estimated that the net fiscal impact of refugees was positive over the 10-year period, at $63 billion.”
After the release of the study, Trump’s White House officials tried to squash the study by saying the results were “illegitimate” and “politically motivated,” even though they were from his own department.
“This leak was delivered by someone with an ideological agenda, not someone looking at hard data,” said Raj Shah, a White House spokesman. “The actual report pursuant to the presidential memorandum shows that refugees with few skills coming from war-torn countries take more government benefits from the Department of Health and Human Services than the average population, and are not a net benefit to the U.S. economy.”
More from the Times:
“It was not clear who in the administration decided to keep the information out of the final report. An internal email, dated Sept. 5 and sent among officials from government agencies involved in refugee issues, said that “senior leadership is questioning the assumptions used to produce the report.” A separate email said that Mr. Miller had requested a meeting to discuss the report. The Times was shown the emails on condition that the sender not be identified. Mr. Miller personally intervened in the discussions on the refugee cap to ensure that only the costs — not any fiscal benefit — of the program were considered, according to two people familiar with the talks.”
President Trump appeared before the United Nations General Assembly several weeks ago, and the issue of refugees was front and center. Trump has taken a drastically different turn than former President Barack Obama, who made it a personal goal of admitting around 110,000 refugees per month. Trump is doing his best to reverse that trend.