Cold, heartless, cruel, callous, merciless, hard-hearted! Those are just a few of the words that have been used to describe Republicans and others who want to put the brakes on President Obama’s plan to resettle thousands of Syrians fleeing their war-torn country here in the United States.
Resettling those people constitutes a grave threat to our country given the fact that it is impossible to adequately vet them. Nevertheless, our hearts go out to these people and quite naturally we want to help.
So here is the question for bleeding-heart liberals who want to throw caution to the wind and bring plane loads of these people here to the United States: Would you like to help 10,000, which is Obama’s plan for the current year, or 610,000 of them?
Obviously, any caring person would like to help as many of these poor people as possible. Then, why, oh why, would you want to bring them here when you can help 61 times that number in one of Syria’s neighboring countries without the obvious threat?
Last month, Steven Camarota and Karen Zeigler released a exhaustive study for the Center for Immigration Studies, largely ignored by the media, on the cost of relocating these people which shows that — if your interest in purely compassion — Obama’s plan makes no sense.
The UN High Commission for Refugees has appealed for $4.533 billion to care for the 4.29 million registered Syrian refugees currently in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon for a year. That amounts to about $1,057 per refugee. While that may seem like a low number, the poverty line in that area is roughly $1,402 per family.
Clearly, caring for a family in a neighboring country is much less expensive than keeping that family out of poverty here where the line is $24,000 per year for the average family. Although, CIS did not attempt to include all relocation costs, its best conservative estimate was $64,370 per Middle Eastern refugee, or $257,481 per family for a period of five years. That is because these refugees rely heavily on welfare; 91 percent receive food stamps and 68 percent receive cash assistance. Added to those costs are processing, temporary assistance and aid to the refugee-receiving communities.
Also, given the fact that these refugees have, on average, 10.5 years of eduction, it is likely they will be a drain on the public for years to come.
Now, any reasonable person understands that these people will be materially better off in this country than if they remain in the region. Despite our problems, U.S. citizens still have the highest standard of living in the world and our “poor” are considered “rich” in most countries. However, there are other considerations.
The countries in that region have similar cultures. Adapting to life in another part of the world is challenging at best and especially so for those who have already suffered the ravages of war.
Recently, GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson visited some of the refugee camps and discovered that most of these people want to remain in the area and had hopes of returning to Syria once peace is restored. If they are resettled half way around the world, their dream of returning to their home country is much less likely.
Call me suspicious, but some of the charities, even Christian charities, that are campaigning for more Syrian refugees stand to gain financially. Yes, many receive federal money for “assisting” these new arrivals. Take the financial incentive away, which in many cases is substantial, it is an attempt to “feel good” at best. When you consider that each Syrian refugee who is helped over here has essentially won the immigration lottery, and helping that person here is depriving some 61 others of basic assistance in the Middle East, it makes no sense.
Add to these charities the number of government workers required to process their welfare assistance, serve as counselors, special education teachers for their children, etc., you can see that these financial incentives add to the clarion call to bring in more and more refugees.
There are obvious incentives for Obama and his party as well. It is no secret that resent arrivals to this country are more likely to vote Democrat than Republican.
Obama’s determination to allow more and more immigrants, both legal and illegal, into the country and to facilitate their ability to vote is not based need or a desire to help others. It is a selfish, unvarnished attempt to shore up a party than no longer represents America’s best interests.
Clearly, the refugee grinch is not in the GOP, he’s in the White House.