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Jason Caplin

Humanities
Position Paper
4-28-2016
In the war-torn Middle East, millions of refugees have been displaced and require
assistance in any way, shape or form, causing a movement around the world to provide aid for
the struggling people. This includes the USA, which has proposed to take in 50,000 Syrian
refugees, but the U.S. should not accept the refugees. The U.S. has limited resources so careful
consideration should be taken on how to most impactfully spend our money, and the vetting
process can not successfully remove all applicants with threats of terrorism due to the measures
ISIS is taking.
The cost of resettlement for 50,000 refugees is too high of a number to be seriously
considered. Refugees are admitted for humanitarian reasons, not because they are expected to
be self-sufficient, so the drain on the public tax revenue that Middle Eastern refugees create is
expected. However, given limited resources, the high cost of resettlement in the United States
means careful consideration should be given to alternatives to resettlement if the goal is to help
as many people possible. The first-year costs of refugee resettlement in the US includes $9,230
spent by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), as well as $55,139 in expenditures on
welfare and education, costing a conglomerative $3,218,450,000 for the 50 thousand refugees
for the first year. With the 3.2 billion dollars, we could instead provide aid to 600 thousand
refugees in Syria. Evidently, there are much more effective ways to counter the refugee crisis.
As we all know, every refugee goes through an intensive vetting process, but the
precautions are increased for Syrians. Yet, members of ISIS have been disguising themselves
as refugees to gain passage into enemy territory. Multiple law enforcement, intelligence and
security agencies perform the most rigorous screening of any traveler to the U.S., says a
senior administration official. Among the agencies involved are the State Department, the FBIs
Terrorist Screening Center, the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland
Security. The New York Times did an article on an Algerian couple; suspected of planning a
terrorist attack in Berlin and arrested on suspicion of belonging to the Islamic State. They
entered Germany late last year and applied for asylum as Syrian refugees part of a pattern of
terrorism suspects entering Europe under the guise of fleeing war. The authorities in Europe
have seen repeatedly that terrorists are being smuggled in, camouflaged as refugees, Mr.
Maassen (a german politician and lawyer) said on ZDF public television. That is a fact that
security authorities must always seek to recognize and identify. (New York Times)
In an opposing argument, one claims that the cost of a refugee resettlement is a mere
$64,000 for the first year, costing every american 0.02 cents. Except, they forgot to account for
the fact that refugees are dependent on government social services for five years. 91% of
refugees rely on food stamps, 73% rely on medicaid, and 68% rely on cash assistance (ORR).
For what it costs to resettle one Middle Eastern refugee in the United States for five years,
about 12 refugees can be helped in the Middle East for five years, or 61 refugees can be helped
for one year (Center of Immigration Studies). How could we justify giving one out of 12 syrian
refugees a new life and leave the other 11 to their own devices?

In life, there are black areas and white areas, and then... there is just grey. 90% of
situations that occur fall in the grey abyss, and whether or not to accept 50,000 syrian refugees
falls into that area as well. I can not tell you what to believe but I urge you to take the arguments
you just read into consideration when you make you choice. The Syrian refugee proposal
should be refuted as the cost of the refugee would be a burden on the working american and we
can not ensure the safety of our country with the vetting process due to the lengths ISIS will go
to spread their cause.
Works Cited
Office of Refugee Ressetlement Anual Report to Congress Fiscal Year 2013,
U.SDepartment of Health and Human Servicees, Administration for
Children and Families office of refugee ressetlement June, 11 2015
http://www.sessions.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2015/9/more-than-90-ofrecent-middle-eastern-refugees-on-food-stamps-almost-70-on-cashwelfare
Smale, Alison. "Terrorism Suspects Are Posing as Refugees, Germany Says." The New York
Times. The New York Times, 05 Feb. 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/06/world/europe/germany-refugees-isis.html?
_r=0
Ziegler, Karen, and Steven A. Camarota. "The High Cost of Resettling Middle Eastern
Refugees." Center for Immigration Studies. 14 Nov. 2015. Web.
http://cis.org/High-Cost-of-Resettling-Middle-Eastern-Refugees