Benefits of Refugees in Our Communities
The Migration Policy Institute, a leading organization on migration policy and research, released a fact sheet in October 2015 to address myths concerning refugee resettlement in the United States. Among other key facts, the following are outlined and examined. To download a copy of the full research paper, visit the Migration Policy Institute website.
- Employment: The U.S. refugee resettlement system emphasizes self-sufficiency through employment. Refugee men are employed at a higher rate than their U.S.-born peers with two-thirds of refugee men employed during the 2009-11 period, compared to 60 percent of U.S.-born men.
- Security: Refugees are intensively vetted for security threats before being resettled in the United States. The U.S. government thoroughly screens refugees' backgrounds--an intensive process involving the Department of Homeland Security and State, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other national intelligence agencies. Of the 784,000 refugees resettled in the U.S. since September 11, 2001, three have been arrested for planning terrorist activities.
- Resettlement Funding: Although the Federal Government funds refugee resettlement assistance, funding has been limited and the program is a public-private partnership. Non-profits and community groups offer substantial support for refugee families above and beyond government funding.
- Education: Refugees are more likely to have a high school degree than other immigrants, and just as likely as U.S. born residents to have graduated from college.
In 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services constructed a study that found a $63 billion positive fiscal impact from refugees over a 10-year period. Read the internal study published on the New York Times website.
- Economic Benefits of Refugees
- Refugee Resettlement State Profiles
- Refugee Council USA 2017 Advocacy Toolkit
- Letters and articles, national and state-by-state, demonstrating welcome for refugees
- Letter from former Secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security
- Letter to Congress from 20 Former National Security Officials
- White House Infographic: The Screening Process for Refugee Entry into the United States
What are the Consequences of Limited Refugee Arrivals?
The US is reneging on its commitment to leave no one behind & jeopardizing future support of its missions abroad.
- Last year, the US resettled over 3,000 Iraqis who supported US missions abroad and were in danger as a result. Just 36 of these Iraqis have been resettled 6 months into FY18, with roughly 50,000 waiting for their cases to be processed.
The US is turning its back on those fleeing a common enemy.
- More people were killed in the most recent chemical weapons attack that took more than 70 lives than have been resettled in the US this fiscal year. Yet, Syrian refugees are fleeing the same terrorist groups that US troops are seeking to dismantle.
- Syrian resettlement has declined 99% compared to this time last year. No Syrian refugee requiring additional vetting has been resettled since the new procedures were put in place.
- Not a single Yezidi from Syria has been welcomed to the US and just 5 Yezidis from Iraq, also fleeing ISIS persecution, have been resettled halfway through the fiscal year.
The US is turning its back on important allies who are hosting more than their fair share of refugees.
- Jordan’s generosity has mitigated the regional and global consequences of the Syrian crisis, hosting over 685,000 refugees. 1 out of every 11 Jordanian residents is a refugee—the overwhelming majority are Syrian as the civil war has entered its eighth year, followed by Iraqis.
- When the US and other countries resettled over 19,300 refugees from Jordan in 2016, it provided critical relief to a strategic ally.
- National security experts agree: “By doing more to host and help refugees, the United States would safeguard the stability of these nations and thereby advance its own national security interests.”
- Yet halfway through FY18, the US had only resettled 44 Syrians and 106 Iraqis from all countries hosting these populations.
The US is risking the stability of critical regions around the world.
- With an unprecedented slowdown in US resettlement, major refugee-hosting nations are increasingly asking why they should continue hosting large refugee populations.
- A major risk is in forced returns that could exacerbate instability and conflict—whether the return of Rohingya in Bangladesh, Afghans in Pakistan or Somalis in Kenya. Since early 2015, for example, over 2 million Afghans have been forced to return to a still unstable Afghanistan.
- In 2016, for example, the Kenyan government threatened the forced return or more than 250,000 Somalis to an unstable Somalia. Part of the justification was developed nations’ failure to do their fair share: “…rich, prosperous and democratic countries are turning away refugees from Syria, one of the worst war zones since World War Two.”