Are Refugees More Important Than Our Own People?

Amanda Moore-HB

That was not the intention. It was never the intention. But that is what happened.

Leaders around the world did not allow refugees into their countries with the intention to hurt the citizens of that country. No, the intention was to get people out of war ridden countries, out of sex slave trades, and into a better environment. But this decision made by leaders of the world has negative externalities for the citizens. Refugees bring the burden of “imposing additional costs on already hard-pressed public and social welfare budgets, arresting economic growth, distorting markets, and causing environmental degradation.”[1] They take away money that should go to the citizens of that country. Looking at America, on one single night in January 2015, 564,708 people were experiencing homelessness.[2] These are the people the refugees are taking the most from.

And while Roger Zetter, Emeritus Professor of Refugee Studies, says “refugees also bring economic benefits and development potential, [such as], new skills and, above all, expanding consumption of food and commodities such as building materials, which stimulates growth of the host economy,”[3] my question to him is, where do the refugees get the money for these commodities?  Many of the refugees coming over cannot afford a safe and sound place to stay, yet they have enough money to help stimulate our economy. How? They take the jobs of people, American citizens, who need them to keep their families alive. Jobs that now have an even more competitive market mean lower wages, so people who were making above minimum wage could take a pay cut due to this, and now they cannot afford even the bare essentials for them and their family to get by. And that’s just worrying about the people in the work force.

If you look at our VA system, it’s baffling how poor of a condition it is in- veterans being put on waiting lists for months just to get in to see the doctor, then on another waiting list to actually be treated. The hospitals are in pitiable conditions, dried blood and medications left on the table when the next patient enters the examination room. [4] We have no money in our nation’s budget to help the people who risked their lives for us, but we have roughly $257,000 per refugee household to bring over strangers. [5]

So, no- the leaders of our country did not intend for the citizens to get hurt, but the backlash, the externalities of the choices they have made to allow refugees into our country, has put its citizens in a worse off place than before.

[1] Zetter, Roger. “Are Refugees an Economic Burden or Benefit? | Forced …” Forced Migration Review. Accessed October 20, 2016.

[2] “The State of Homelessness in America, 2016.” National Alliance to End Homelessness. Accessed October 20, 2016.

[3] Zetter, Roger. “Are Refugees an Economic Burden or Benefit? | Forced …” Forced Migration Review. Accessed October 20, 2016.

[4] ABC News. “Some Veterans’ Hospitals in Shocking Shape – ABC News.” ABC News. April 8, 2016. Accessed October 21, 2016.

[5] “The High Cost of Resettling Middle Eastern Refugees …” Center for Immigration Studies. Accessed October 21, 2016.

Photo by: Jeff J. Mitchell


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