Office of Refugee Resettlement helps distribute your money to refugees

Your tax dollars:

This is boring stuff, but you should know a little about the federal agency that is primarily responsible for funding the social services jobless refugees/asylees need when they get here from some third world country.

For some reason this write-up on the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the US Department of Health and Human Services popped up in one of my alerts this week.  Why now?  I don’t know.  But, the timing is good because it follows the announcement on October 1st that Obama wants 70,000 more refugees for FY2013.

By the way, adding to the confusion for the public in understanding the Refugee Resettlement Program is that the US State Department brings the refugees into the country, but it’s ORR that take it from there; and, helps to spend your more than $1 billion in taxpayer dollars!

We have a whole category entitled, where to find information, and this post and over 200 more like it can be found there (for ambitious readers out there).

Here is just a bit of the program description at the Administration for Children and Families in the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) gives new populations the opportunity to maximize their potential in the United States.  ORR’s programs provide people in need with critical resources ($$$) to assist them in becoming integrated members of American society, such as cash, social services, and medical assistance.

Here is what the Division of Refugee Assistance is responsible for:

Cash and Medical Assistance: This program provides reimbursement to states and other programs for cash and medical assistance. Refugees who are ineligible for TANF and Medicaid may be eligible for cash and medical assistance for up to eight months from their date of arrival, grant of asylum, or date of certification for trafficking victims.

Refugee Social Services: This program allocates formula funds to states to serve refugees who have been in the United States less than 60 months (five years).  Services are focused on addressing employability and include interpretation and translation, day care, citizenship, and naturalization.  Services are designed to help refugees obtain jobs within one year of enrollment.

Targeted Assistance: This program allocates formula funds to states that qualify for additional funds due to an influx of refugee arrivals that need public assistance.  TAG service prioritize (a) cash assistance recipients, particularly long-term recipients; (b) unemployed refugees not receiving cash assistance; and (c) employed refugees in need of services to retain employment or to attain economic independence.

Cuban Haitian: This program provides discretionary grants to states and other programs to fund assistance and services in localities with a heavy influx of Cuban and Haitian entrants and refugees.  This program supports employment services, hospitals, and other health and mental health care programs, adult and vocational education services, refugee crime or victimization programs, and citizenship and naturalization services.

Refugee Preventive Health: This program provides discretionary grants to states or their designated health agencies or other programs that facilitate medical screenings and support health services.  The program aims to reduce the spread of infectious disease, treat any current ailments, and promote preventive health practices.

Refugee School Impact: This program provides discretionary grants to state and other programs.  Funds go to school districts to pay for activities that will lead to the effective integration and education of refugee children between the ages of 5 and 18.  Activities include English as a second language; after-school tutorials; programs that encourage high school completion and full participation in school activities; after-school and/or summer clubs and activities; parental involvement programs; bilingual/bicultural counselors; interpreter services, etc.

Services to Older Refugees: This program provides discretionary grants to states to ensure that refugees aged 60 and above are linked to mainstream aging services in their community.  ORR cooperates with the Administration for Community Living to reach this goal.  [You do know that we bring senior refugees in who benefit from our social security system—ed]

Targeted Assistance Discretionary: This program provides discretionary grants to states and other programs to address the employment needs of refugees that cannot be met with the Formula Social Services or Formula Targeted Assistance Grant Programs.  Activities under this program are for the purpose of supplementing and/or complementing existing employment services to help refugees achieve economic self-sufficiency.

It goes on and on, you can read it all here.  But, don’t expect to figure out all these avenues for the redistribution of wealth anytime soon, heck, I think that is partly why it is so complicated—they don’t want you to know!