The refugee resettlement program represents a security risk to our nation and a financial risk to taxpayers. I hope you will oppose any renewal or expansion of the program in the FY17 budget until refugee resettlement from terrorist-producing countries is halted.

The FBI recognizes that it is nearly impossible to thoroughly vet those wishing to come to the United States as refugees and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson recently told Congress that “in all candor, I do agree that the refugee flow coming out of Iraq and Syria represents a potential opportunity for terrorist organizations to move its members into other nations for potential attacks.” If the man responsible for ensuring that terrorists can’t enter the U.S. is troubled by a program, that is certainly cause for concern.

Of just as much concern is the cost of the program. It costs the United States government $64,370 to resettle a refugee and care for him for 5 years — 12 times the amount it costs to resettle a refugee in a neighboring country, as the UN recommends. Let me put it another way: the U.S. can help 12 times as many people as we do now if we follow the UN’s recommendation. Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine has voiced support for helping refugee resettle near their home countries instead of bringing them to the U.S. He recently said:

“Why not create that safe zone in Syria so people don’t have to leave their country. They would rather stay there if we can guarantee safety and basic comforts of food, shelter and medical care … If we can create that, then people will come back.”

It is clear that the current refugee resettlement program represents a security threat to our nation and that the program’s funds would be better spent helping refugees to resettle close to their home country. I urge you to oppose reauthorizing the program for FY17 until the program’s financial and security ramifications can be thoroughly assessed and resettlement from terrorist-producing countries is halted.

Phone me if you would like to talk about this.

Greg Raven, Apple Valley, CA