A quick primer for new readers: The Refugee Contractors
Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 16, 2016
It just occurred to me, when writing my post earlier this morning about State Department secrecy, that new readers are probably lost and confused by the many names of local organizations placing refugees in your towns.
First, there are nine major federally funded ‘non-profit’ groups that receive funding (some as much as 98% of their budget) from mainly the US Department of State (Population Refugees and Migration) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement which is in Health and Human Services. (An aside: it is critical to pay attention to Trump cabinet picks for State and for HHS). Smaller federal grants come from other agencies as well.
Here they are:
- Church World Service (CWS)
- Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
- Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
- World Relief Corporation (WR)
Then working for them are hundreds of subcontractors scattered across 49 states. Go here to the government’s data base of resettlement subcontractors (aka affiliates) working in your state. Below is a screen shot of the Connecticut page.
See the abbreviation in the left hand corner of each entry. That stands for the major contractor over this particular subcontractor.
Obviously USCCB is the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. CWS is Church World Service. Not so easy to identify is DFMS. That is the other name (don’t ask me why!) for Episcopal Migration Ministries and it is Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (scroll to bottom of page here). My personal guess for why there are two names is that it has to do with their financial structure (keeping their finances hard to track?).
But when you look at that data base know three things. 1) the data base is out of date, 2) we are told there are 47 new sites not listed and, 3) see if you live within 100 miles of one of these offices because that means your town is fair game to receive refugees.
Here are some of the new sites being chosen by the US State Department (that we know of!):
Aberdeen, SD (may have been thwarted as a primary resettlement site!)
Traverse City, MI
Watertown, NY (maybe)
Youngstown, OH (maybe)
Knowledge is Power!
Go to our Frequently Asked Questions in the header. And, check out our category ‘where to find information’ if you are trying to research the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program. Also, our search function is really good so type in a few key words (try your state to begin with) and I am confident you will get an education!