Someone asked me about refugee reports, and in this particular case where one could find information on welfare use by refugees.
Annual Reports to Congress
The best place that I know of for that information may be found in the Office of Refugee Resettlement Annual Reports to Congress. (Not to be confused with the reports submitted by the State Department in September in conjunction with the Presidential Determination for the next year.)
Annual reports are listed here.
Federal law requires that the reports be submitted to Congress within 4 months of the close of the previous fiscal year. So unless ORR has failed to update its website, they are now behind for FY2015 (and if they don’t get that one done by the end of January 2017, they will be two years behind!).
There was a point a few years ago (and we wrote about it often and loudly) that ORR was behind by as much as 3 years. I did some research to see when they went off track with following the law and found out it was during Lavinia Limon’s tenure as the Director of ORR during the Clinton Administration. What they apparently did during those years was to take the dates off of the covers, so you never really knew when it was actually submitted. It might say FY
1987 (oops typo supposed to be 1997), but with no date for its delivery to Congress.
But the fact that they were so far off also highlighted the fact that Congress clearly did not care whether they were on time.
See here that Senator Jeff Sessions and Rep. Marsha Blackburn did ultimately go after ORR in late 2015 to force the agency to comply with the law.
So go to the Annual Reports and you will find welfare use for refugees. However, I want you to see page 112 at the end of FY2014 and understand that the reports for such things as welfare use are based on a small sample number of present and former refugees who are able to be found and who are willing to admit to welfare use!
Frankly, there should be a requirement to obtain that data from local welfare agencies, thus forcing local social service agencies to keep track of refugee ‘clients.’
One more thing, since Wrapsnet.org only keeps data back to 2002, you can go back to extensive tables at the end of older annual reports. That is how I found all this information about Somali resettlement all the way back to the beginning.
Proposed refugee admissions for coming year report to Congress
The annual reports I mentioned above are done after the fact, while this report (which is still pretty useful) is sent to Congress usually in the month of September and informs Congress of what the President plans for the upcoming fiscal year. See the most recent one here.
ORR’s Key Indicators
This is a relatively new report and I don’t know if ORR has ever done more than maybe two of these. But, the purpose was to identify states that have the best situation (vis-a-vis social services) for refugees. Here I told readers about how if your state expanded Medicaid, you had a better shot at getting more refugees. This report also tracks secondary migration something that I was told was not done way back in 2007 when I started writing about the Refugee Admissions Program (RAP).
Key Indicators for FY2014 is here.
Congressional Research Service Reports
I have not read the latest one issued just a few weeks ago, but these CRS Reports by Andorra Bruno have been very useful in the past. See the most recent one by clicking here.
General Accounting Office Reports
There is a really good (useful) GAO Report issued in July 2012 which was commissioned by then Senator Richard Lugar entitled, ‘Greater Consultation with Community Stakeholders Could Strengthen Program.’
Go here to see that report.
I think there are more reports, but that is all my old brain can remember at the moment. Will add more if you know of more!
Example of a table found near the end of the FY2014 Annual Report to Congress linked above (be sure to read the note under the table!). After 5 years 60% of refugees were still on Food Stamps!
I have a category here at RRW entitled ‘Where to find information’ but it is huge and pretty unwieldy now, but ambitious readers might want to scroll through some of the material archived there.