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The Positive Economic Impact of Refugees and Asylees in the U.S.

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Mason Walker
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The Positive Economic Impact of Refugees and Asylees in the U.S.

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Historic Report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a groundbreaking report highlighting the significant fiscal contribution of refugees and asylees to the American economy. The report underscores the commitment to welcoming new arrivals with equitable, high-quality support, which aids them in maximizing their potential in the U.S. This study is a testament to the positive impact that refugees and asylees can have on the economy when given the right kind of support.

Refugees and Asylees: A Boon to the Economy

The United States has welcomed over 2.1 million refugees and accepted over 800,000 asylees between 1990 and 2022. An ongoing analysis on the fiscal impact of refugees and asylees on federal, state, and local governments from 2005 to 2019 estimates a significant economic impact. A recent HHS study revealed that these refugees and asylees have contributed nearly $124 billion to the U.S. government budget from 2005-2019. This points towards a positive net fiscal impact of refugees on the U.S. economy, with meaningful contributions at both federal and state levels.

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Refugees’ Contribution to Governments at All Levels

Refugees have generated an estimated $581 billion for governments at all levels, while the total expenditure on refugees amounted to approximately $457.2 billion over the same period. Though the study acknowledges certain limitations, it compellingly demonstrates the positive fiscal and cultural impact of the U.S. humanitarian program for refugees.

Addressing Homelessness: A Collaborative Approach

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have announced the Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator initiative. This initiative aims to reduce homelessness by addressing health-related social needs such as housing-related services. Eight states and the District of Columbia have been selected to participate in this initiative. The Biden-Harris Administration has worked to expand housing assistance and ensure people experiencing homelessness have access to supportive services. In a bid to extend this support, HUD announced $3.16 billion in funding to fund 7,000 housing and services projects for people experiencing homelessness.

Role of Medicaid and CHIP

The Accelerator initiative provides technical assistance to states implementing clinically appropriate and evidence-based services that can be covered under Medicaid and CHIP. HHS has published guidance and a framework clarifying the flexibilities available to states under their Medicaid section 1115 demonstrations or 1915(i) state plan amendments to cover services to help meet eligible enrollees' health-related social needs like housing and nutrition.

Resources and Support from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF)

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides information on various ACF programs and resources, including reports on child welfare outcomes and child maltreatment. It also includes a list of ACF press inquiries and success stories related to evidence-based home visiting models. These resources highlight the ongoing efforts to provide support and ensure the wellbeing of children and families in the U.S.

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