More than 90 percent of recent refugees from Middle Eastern nations are on food stamps and nearly 70 percent receive cash assistance, according to government data.
According to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) data highlighted by the immigration subcommittee staff of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)— chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest — in FY 2013, 91.4 percent of Middle Eastern refugees (accepted to the U.S. between 2008-2013) received food stamps, 73.1 percent were on Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance and 68.3 percent were on cash welfare.
Middle Eastern refugees used a number of other assistance programs at slightly lower rates. For example, 36.7 percent received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), 32.1 percent received Supplemental Security Income (SSI), 19.7 percent lived in public housing, 17.3 percent were on General Assistance (GA), and 10.9 percent received Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA).
The high welfare rates among Middle Eastern refugees comes as the Obama administration considers increasing the number of refugees — who are immediately eligible for public benefits — to the U.S., particularly Syrian refugees.
ORR defines refugees and asylees from the “Middle East” as being from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen…