HHS: Refugees & Asylees Generate $123.8 Billion Net Fiscal Benefit

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Press Release

HHS: Refugees & Asylees Generate $123.8 Billion Net Fiscal Benefit

Global Refuge Staff

February 15, 2024


February 15, 2023

Contact: Tim Young | timothy.young@globalrefuge.org

Baltimore, MD – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today released the first published federal study quantifying the net fiscal impact of refugees and asylees on federal, state, and local government budgets, examining a 15-year period from 2005 to 2019.

Overall, the study found that the net fiscal impact of refugees and asylees was overwhelmingly positive at $123.8 billion. The net fiscal benefit to the federal government was estimated at $31.5 billion, and was estimated at $92.3 billion to state and local governments. When accounting for revenues from and expenditures on immediate family members of those with refugee and asylee status, this population also contributed a net fiscal benefit estimated to be $16 billion over 15 years — representing a net fiscal benefit of more than $1 billion each year.

In response to the study, Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President & CEO of Global Refuge, one of the largest refugee resettlement organizations in the United States, said:

“This study demonstrates that refugee resettlement is firmly within our national interest, both in terms of maintaining our global humanitarian leadership and in terms of bolstering federal, state, and local resources. Refugees and asylees may arrive only with what they can carry, but they ultimately enrich us through their long-term economic, labor, and tax contributions.”

As a resettlement organization that partners with employers navigating nationwide labor shortages, we consistently hear back that their refugee employees become some of their most dedicated and hardworking team members. As our country continues to struggle with labor shortages and historically low birth rates, welcoming robust numbers of refugees and asylum seekers will be critical to generating additional tax revenues and unleashing our full economic potential.”

About us:

Global Refuge, formerly Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, is a nonprofit serving newcomers seeking safety, support, and a share in the American dream. For 85 years, we have welcomed those seeking refuge, upholding a legacy of compassion and grace for people in crisis. We walk alongside individuals, families, and children as they begin their new lives in the United States through our work in refugee resettlement, welcome and respite services for asylum seekers, economic empowerment and employment, and family unification for unaccompanied children. To date, we have served over 750,000 people from around the globe. At Global Refuge, welcoming newcomers isn’t just our duty — it’s an inherent part of our identity, rooted in our Lutheran heritage and inspired values, and serving as a testament to our unwavering commitment to those in search of refuge.

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