Trump White House 'suppressed' report showing economic benefits of admitting refugees

Jon Sharman
Senior adviser Stephen Miller leaves the White House: REUTERS

The Trump administration suppressed a study showing refugees brought $63bn (£46.6bn) in economic benefits to the US, it has been claimed.

The draft report showed refugees contributed vastly more in revenue to the US government than the state spent to help them between 2005 and 2014.

But internal machinations, reportedly led by Donald Trump’s senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, saw only the cost details included in the final version, which showed refugees relied more per head than US citizens on state assistance.

The leaked draft was obtained by the New York Times. Right-wing ideologue Mr Miller, it reported, had intervened personally to press for the removal of information demonstrating refugees’ economic contributions.

It was not clear who made the final decision, the paper said.

Mr Trump commissioned the study from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which he tasked with uncovering the cost of refugee programmes.

Next month Mr Trump will decide where to cap the number of refugees the US will admit in the coming year. Currently the figure sits at 50,000 under his travel ban.

Some who backed the study claimed it had been “suppressed”, the Times reported.

A White House spokesman told the NYT: “This leak was delivered by someone with an ideological agenda, not someone looking at hard data.

“The actual report pursuant to the presidential memorandum shows that refugees with few skills coming from war-torn countries take more government benefits from the DHHS than the average population, and are not a net benefit to the US economy.”