Press Statement | February 20, 2024

Arlington, Feb 20 – ECDC, commends the release of the groundbreaking research that sheds light on the significant fiscal contributions of refugees and asylees in the United States. Authored by Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) and published on February 15, 2024, this official federal study underscores the invaluable economic impact of refugees and asylees while challenging the misconceptions surrounding their integration into American society.

The findings of this comprehensive research are clear: refugees and asylees have made substantial positive contributions to the U.S. economy over the past 15 years. Contrary to prevalent misconceptions, these newcomers have not only enriched the cultural fabric of our nation but have also bolstered government revenues while contributing to local communities across the country.

Key points from the study include:

  • A net fiscal impact of $123.8 billion over the 15 years, indicating that refugees and asylees contributed more revenue than they cost in expenditures to the government.
  • Refugees and asylees contributed an estimated $581 billion in revenue to federal, state, and local governments through various taxes.
  • When compared with the total U.S. population on a per capita basis, refugees and asylees demonstrated a comparable net fiscal impact, further debunking misconceptions about their economic contributions.

As an organization committed to serving and advocating for the rights and well-being of refugees and immigrants for the past 40 years, ECDC celebrates these findings as a testament to the resilience, resourcefulness, and economic potential of displaced individuals. This research not only highlights the tangible benefits of welcoming refugees and asylees but it also underscores the moral imperative of upholding our humanitarian commitments.

Is it time for policymakers, stakeholders, and the broader community to recognize, appreciate, and accept the positive economic contributions of refugees and asylees. By fostering inclusive policies, promoting integration initiatives, and embracing diversity, we can harness the full potential of displaced individuals to build stronger, more vibrant communities for all.

ECDC extends its sincere gratitude to the researchers and contributors involved in this groundbreaking study, The Fiscal Impact of Refugees and Asylees at The Federal, State, and Local Levels From 2005-2019,  for their dedication to finding and publishing the undisputable facts that hopefully will lead to greater understanding and advocacy on behalf of refugees and asylees.

Between 1990 and 2022, the United States welcomed over 2.1 million refugees and accepted over 800,000 asylees. While the purpose of granting visas to refugees and asylees is humanitarian, ECDC welcomes the finding that their economic contribution has been positive.

ECDC will be holding its 27th Annual National Conference; titled: “Global Refugee Crises: Enhancing Protection and Durable Solutions” on May 21-22, 2024 at the Double Tree Crystal City, Arlington, Va.

To learn more: Conference – ECDC – Ethiopian Community Development Council (ecdcus.org)

For inquiries about the conference, please contact Ezana Teferra: at eteferra@ecdcus.org

For media inquiries, please contact: Lullit Paulos, at lpaulos@ecdcus.org

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About ECDC:

The Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc. (ECDC), based in Arlington, Va., is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit, community-based organization (CBO) established in 1983 to respond to the needs of a growing Ethiopian community in the U.S. ECDC quickly became a multi-cultural, multi-service provider with local, national, and international reach. For 40 years, ECDC has been helping refugees and immigrants re-establish their lives as productive, self-sufficient members of their new communities.

One of 10 national resettlement agencies authorized by the U.S. Department of State to resettle refugees, ECDC has to date resettled 80,000 newcomers through its 25 affiliates and branch offices in 18 states across the U.S. ECDC has 18 affiliated organizations, 7 branch offices, and two community partners.