When I wrote about funds (lots of federal funds) going to Catholic Charities in Kentucky and Tennessee yesterday and today, I was reminded* of the Code of Federal Regulations that govern the Refugee Resettlement Program. Readers wishing to try to understand this program better might want to look over the regulations here.
I won’t pretend to understand them entirely myself, but I recall that State coordinators are required to submit a plan each fiscal year to the Office of Refugee Resettlement that has been approved by the Governor.
This is from 45 CFR Section 400.4:
(b) A State must certify no later than 30 days after the beginning of each Federal fiscal year that the approved State plan is current and continues in effect. If a State wishes to change its plan, a State must submit a proposed amendment to the plan. The proposed amendment will be reviewed and approved or disapproved in accordance with §400.8.
Regarding that line I have in bold, we are now at 30 days after the beginning of the fiscal year which began October 1, 2009 (FY2010).
From Section 400.5, this is what the plan must include:
The plan must:
(a) Provide for the designation of, and describe the organization and functions of, a State agency (or agencies) responsible for developing the plan and administering, or supervising the administration of, the plan;
(b) Describe how the State will coordinate cash and medical assistance with support services to ensure their successful use to encourage effective refugee resettlement and to promote employment and economic self-sufficiency as quickly as possible.
(c) Describe how the State will ensure that language training and employment services are made available to refugees receiving cash assistance, and to other refugees, including State efforts to actively encourage refugee registration for employment services;
(d) Identify an individual designated by the Governor or the appropriate legislative authority of the State, with the title of State Coordinator, who is employed by the State and will have the responsibility and authority to ensure coordination of public and private resources in refugee resettlement in the State;
(e) Provide for, and describe the procedures established for, the care and supervision of, and legal responsibility (including legal custody and/or guardianship under State law, as appropriate) for, unaccompanied refugee children in the State;
(f) Provide for and describe (1) the procedures established to identify refugees who, at the time of resettlement in the State, are determined to have medical conditions requiring, or medical histories indicating a need for, treatment or observation, and (2) the procedures established to monitor any necessary treatment or observation;
(g) Provide that assistance and services funded under the plan will be provided to refugees without regard to race, religion, nationality, sex, or political opinion; and
(h) Provide that the State will, unless exempted from this requirement by the Director, assure that meetings are convened, not less often than quarterly, whereby representatives of local resettlement agencies, local community service agencies, and other agencies that serve refugees meet with representatives of State and local governments to plan and coordinate the appropriate placement of refugees in advance of the refugees’ arrival. All existing exemptions to this requirement will expire 90 days after the effective date of this rule. Any State that wishes to be exempted from the provisions regarding the holding and frequency of meetings may apply by submitting a written request to the Director. The request must set forth the reasons why the State considers these meetings unnecessary because of the absence of problems associated with the planning and coordination of refugee placement. An approved exemption will remain in effect for three years, at which time a State may reapply.
(i) Provide that the State will:
(1) Comply with the provisionsof title IV, Chapter 2, of the Act and official issuances of the Director;
(2) Meet the requirements in this part;
(3) Comply with all other applicable Federal statutes and regulations in effect during the time that it is receiving grant funding; and
(4) Amend the plan as needed to comply with standards, goals, and priorities established by the Director.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0960–0418)
[51 FR 3912, Jan. 30, 1986, as amended at 60 FR 33602, June 28, 1995; 65 FR 15443, Mar. 22, 2000]
Beginning today, I am going to write to each of the State Coordinators listed here and ask for the state’s most recent plan. I recommend readers who are concerned with the refugee program in your state do so also. Note in the regulations above, state coordinators are required to be employees of the State.
* I first wrote about these regulations last February when I was addressing the issue of states being able to opt out of the program. So far, only the State of Wyoming has done so.