ACT for America President Brigitte Gabriel said certain U.S. industries seek to hire refugees instead of regular U.S. workers because a refugee's salary is often subsidized through the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which means "the regular American goes to the back" of the employment line while refugees are imported and hired, many of whom "do not share our values" and sometimes work "against our own country."
“Refugee resettlement is not about humanitarianism," said Gabriel during her speech at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 13. "It is about supplying cheap labor – industries looking to boost their bottom line is what drives most refugee resettlement in the United States today."
"It is food processing, meat packing, manufacturing, and the hotel industry that have discovered that they can enjoy the cheap labor at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer, and at the expense of cultural and societal upheaval that communities are experiencing today," she said.
Gabriel continued, "Here’s what I mean by that: Most refugees are on some type of welfare and that makes anyone who employs them, any company that employs them, eligible for the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit. An employer has a greater incentive to hire a refugee because the salary is subsidized by the government, than hiring a good, hard-working American who is looking for a job."
"This is what’s driving the refugee problem," she said. "A refugee’s salary is subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer while an average American job is not."
"It’s not that Americans don’t want to work these cheap jobs," said Gabriel. "It’s not that it’s beneath them to work these jobs. It’s because the companies are not giving them those jobs because they’re giving them to cheap refugees paid for by the same American who used to pay his taxes to the Treasury Department when he had a job."
"Now, the regular American is going to the back of the line, paying for the salaries for the refugees we are importing," she said, "importing to this country who hate America, do not share our values, and a lot of them actually are working against our own country.”
Some of the people eligible for the WOTC include food stamp (SNAP) recipients, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients, and Supplemental Security Income recipients.
Under refugee rules, refugees in the United States can receive TANF funds for up to five years; or Refugee Cash Assistance up to eight months; or SSI benefits up to nine years. Refugees are also eligible for Medicaid/SCHIP up to seven years or Refugee Medical Assistance up to eight months. They also are eligible for other social service benefits, such as employment preparation and job placement services up to five years.
ACT for America, founded in 2007, is a non-partisan grassroots national security organization with 750,000 members. The group focuses on "educating, engaging, and mobilizing citizens and elected officials to impact legislative outcomes to protect America," according to its website.