June 26, 2017 by Ann Corcoran
When President Trump announced in Iowa last week that he planned to ask Congress for a tightening of restrictions on welfare use by immigrants—barring their use of welfare for 5 years—I wondered if he would wander in to the minefield of refugee welfare use.
Readers here know that refugees use social services/welfare immediately (within weeks) upon arrival and that the primary job of their resettlement contractor*** is to get them signed up for their services ASAP.
Here is Trump in Iowa last Wednesday:
“The time has come for new immigration rules that say … those seeking immigration into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years,” Trump said.
My ears pricked up and I wondered if he means refugees too. If he does, he can expect wailing and moaning on the level he received when he announced his original travel ban.
(See here that refugees are exempt from the Clinton-era restrictions on welfare use by immigrants.)
If Trump persuades Congress to disallow welfare for 5 years for all classes of immigrants that would certainly be a backdoor way to rein-in the US Refugee Admissions Program. Maybe, just maybe, the mostly ‘religious’ resettlement contractors*** would have to raise private charitable money or cut the number of the ‘clients’ they ‘care for.’ And, heck, maybe those meatpackers would have to go to paying higher wages as refugee families now use welfare as a back-up for low-wage earnings.
But, don’t hold your breath!
If you are interested in reading more on ‘refugee welfare’ click here for my extensive archive on the subject.
***For new readers, these are the nine federal refugee contractors whose main job is to get their refugee clients their social services in the first three months and then they move on to a new set of paying clients (they are paid by you, the taxpayer, at a per head price for placing refugees in your towns and cities).
- Church World Service (CWS)
- Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
- Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
- World Relief Corporation (WR)