Someone asked me today where to find the number of refugees who were resettled in each state in the US over the years and it reminded me that we have many many new readers every day who are just beginning to try to get a handle on how the UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program works.
Very useful documents are the Office of Refugee Resettlement Annual Reports to Congress*** which are full of all sorts of data, not just the statistics on how many refugees were resettled in your state, but they include data on welfare use, employment, housing, and medical assistance, among other things.
They also include reports from the VOLAGs (the federal contractors) and discussions of special problems that some refugee populations encounter here. And, of course there is information about the myriad grants these contractors receive each year.
I can’t say it enough, but knowledge is power. If you want to begin to understand what is happening in your towns and cities, start by looking at one of these documents.
Click here for a list of available reports.
By the way, the Refugee Act of 1980 specifies that this report should be completed and sent to Congress by the end of January following the close of the fiscal year. Thus, the 2015 Annual Report should be available, but they are behind in producing it.
So what else is new! At one point a few years ago, they were three years behind!
For new readers we have a category entitled ‘where to find information,’ and you might want to have a look at it from time to time.
P.S. I just spent a few minutes examining Table 1 (of the Appendix) in the FY2009 Annual Report where it cataloged how many refugees and from what countries were resettled in each state between 1983 and 2009. Wow! Amazing!
***This is not to be confused with another report to Congress that accompanies the President’s proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. That report also has much useful data but is not as comprehensive as the reports found here.