Not a Lexis+ subscriber? Try it out for free.

Immigration Law

Ten Facts About U.S. Refugee Resettlement: MPI

MPI, Oct. 22, 2015 - "The Obama administration’s recent decision to raise the annual refugee resettlement ceiling and welcome more Syrian refugees, as Europe and other countries struggle to cope with major humanitarian protection claims arising from Syria’s civil war and elsewhere, has prompted a debate in the United States. 

Some in Congress and beyond have raised concerns about the implications of such increases for national security and public budgets, and whether refugees come with the skills and characteristics that enable them to integrate successfully into the U.S. labor market and communities. 

A new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) fact sheet examines some of the key questions, and provides answers regarding refugees’ employment and educational attainment, use of public benefits and poverty levels, economic advancement and citizenship acquisition, the screening protocols for would-be refugees, and the likely integration picture for Syrian refugees.

Drawing on MPI research, U.S. government data, and other sources, the fact sheet demonstrates that:

  • Refugee men are employed at a higher rate than their U.S.-born counterparts, while refugee women are employed at similar rates as native-born women.
  • Most refugees quickly become self-sufficient, meeting a key goal of the U.S. resettlement program, with their use of public benefits declining and incomes reaching near-parity with the U.S. born as time in the United States increases.
  • The track record of the U.S. resettlement program and the extensive, multilayered security screening that occurs before admission have offered little reason to believe that the program will be a conduit for terrorists.

“The evidence suggests that the U.S. resettlement program, despite its funding limitations and reduced intake from earlier periods, successfully resettles substantial numbers of refugees every year,” write Randy Capps, Director of Research for U.S. Programs, and MPI President Michael Fix."