Government Refugee Study Too Positive For Trump To Accept

What does the White House do with internal research that doesn’t support their existing policies? Bury it, of course! President Donald Trump has spent a lot of time arguing against allowing refugees into the United States, so when a study came back showing that refugees have a positive economic impact on the country, it wasn’t released.

The New York Times received a report prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) completed in July that has never seen the light of day. According to the data, refugees in America have generated more than $63 billion for the government in the past 10 years.

To be clear, that $63 billion is the money the government profits in refugee tax dollars, even after subtracting the public assistance dollars the government spent on relocating the refugees and getting them situated in American communities. Beyond this financial boon, refugees also help the economy by working low-skill service positions that are often otherwise hard to fill.

When asked about this research, John Graham, an assistant secretary at HHS, said, “We do not comment on allegedly leaked documents.”

Apparently, Raj Shah, a spokesperson for the White House was not on the same page. Shah did comment, saying, “This leak was delivered by someone with an ideological agenda, not someone looking at hard data.”

Weird – it actually seems that by not releasing the hard data on its own accord, the Trump administration was attempting to maintain its own ideology, facts be damned.

The brief, 3-page report that the HHS ultimately released with minimal help from these statistics chose to focus on one aspect: the amount of government services refugees take. The numbers show that refugees need more financial assistance than the average American citizen. Over 10 years, refugees took on average of $3,300 in benefits compared to $2,500 for the average U.S. citizen.

Well, duh! It is entirely expected that people fleeing for their lives and with no resources to their name will need some help getting restarted in their new homes. To look at only that aspect while ignoring the overall economic benefit that they offer the U.S. in the long-term is… what did Shah call it? Ah, an “ideological agenda.”

It’s not like the HHS’s numbers are an anomaly. This year, the National Bureau of Economic Research did a study of its own, finding that the average refugee who entered this country between 2010 and 2014 winds up paying $21,000 more in taxes than he or she received in assistance dollars.

Nevertheless, Trump continues to (erroneously) insist that helping refugees simply costs too much, as if these people are drains on the American taxpayer.

Let’s not forget that refugees are people in peril who could use some compassion. As global citizens, the United States has a moral obligation to help out refugees. For us to squabble over the financial impact when lives are at stake is embarrassing.

The fact that refugees go on to improve the American economy makes the White House’s resistance all the more mortifying. It’s obviously time for Trump’s team to start reading some of its own research rather than hiding it whenever it contradicts its preexisting xenophobic notions.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

58 comments

Mike R
Mike Rabout a month ago

Thanks

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Mike R
Mike Rabout a month ago

Thanks

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Mike R
Mike Rabout a month ago

Thanks

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Paulo R
Paulo Rabout a month ago

ty

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Berenice Guedes de Sá

He is unable to acept that he is not right in his judgements!

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Berenice Guedes de Sá

Trump is a disaster as alider of such a great nation built by immigrants. Come on , America is a country with people of all parts of the world!!

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Ellie M
Ellie M2 months ago

ty

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Henry M
Henry M2 months ago

Trump is just making his politics show biz

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Mary B
Mary B2 months ago

The Republicans ALWAYS claim it 'cost taxpayers too much money' when it comes to safety net programs but they never mention that companies paying LOW WAGES have anything to do with income needs. One could accurately say it is the big companies who ARE exploiting the desperate plight of refugees Then the SAME repups like to throw them under the bus AGAIN by under funding the programs that help them. The more I see of the rightwing agenda, the more I despise the whole lot of them, including their half blind followers .

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john c
john c2 months ago

Mike Chrissie - Get your head out of the sand and stop drinking.
John C./Houston, Tx.

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