oversight

Refugee Resettlement: Federal Support to the States Has Declined

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-12-21.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

-~-_                              IJuikd   St,at,w (;t~neral     Accounting              Office
                                  Repot to the Honorable
GAO “‘---                         Ikl,e W ilson, U.S. Senate




                                  REFUGEE
                                  RESETTLEMENT
                                  Federal Support to the
                                  States Has Declined


                                                                                                  143013
                                                                                                      ., -. -




                -.--.-   ------                           _-..- - ---.   _......-_..- ._“.
ci\0/1i1wH-51
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    .I.._.......-..
               I.^_..-. .._._ .- __.-..-.   .   .._.-.-.- ._-.-.--._.- ._.-l^--..-___
      uuited
        States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20648

      Humau    Resources   Division

      B-242407

      December 21, 1990

      The Honorable Pete Wilson
      United States Senate

      Dear Senator Wilson:

      The Refugee Act of 1980 authorized federal assistance to resettle refu-
      gees in the United States on a uniform basis, regardless of their country
      of origin. Over the past decade, more than 925,000 refugees have
      entered this country. The refugee resettlement program has not been
      reauthorized since expiring in fiscal year 1988, although funds have
      been appropriated. Between fiscal years 1985 and 1989, however, the
      amounts appropriated have declined, shifting the costs of refugee reset-
      tlement to state and local governments. Specifically, the length of time
      the federal government reimburses the states for a refugee’s cash and
      medical expenses has been reduced substantially. As a result of this and
      diminished funds to states for job training and other services, Depart-
      ment of Health and Human Services (HHS) assistance per refugee
      decreased about 48 percent from $6,921 to $3,600 in 1989 constant
      dollars.

      On April 16,1990, you asked us to examine refugee resettlement in Cali-
      fornia and other states with large refugee populations. You were con-
      cerned that reductions in federal refugee assistance to states have
      adversely affected the ability of state and local governments to help ref-
      ugees become self-sufficient as quickly as possible. In subsequent discus-
      sions with your staff, we agreed to focus primarily on California and
      obtain (1) estimates of the costs transferred from the federal govern-
      ment to states as a result of recent reductions in federal refugee assis-
      tance, (2) information from and views of public and private sector
      officials on whether recent reductions have resulted in cutbacks in ser-
      vices provided to refugees, and (3) data on changes in the percentage of
      refugees receiving cash assistance and changes in other indices of ref-
      ugee self-sufficiency.




      Page 1                                     GAO/HRDSl-51   Refugee Resettlement
             0242497




             Out of humanitarian concern to help refugees who have been subject to
Background   persecution in their homelands, the Refugee Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-
             212) authorized federal assistance to resettle refugees admitted to the
             United States and to promote their self-sufficiency as quickly as pos-
             sible. As soon as refugees achieve economic independence, they can
             make a substantial contribution to the American economy.’

             The refugee resettlement program, administered by HHS’S Office of Ref-
             ugee Resettlement (ORR), provides funds to states for cash and medical
             assistance to refugees in their transition to the country. The federal and
             state governments normally share the costs of many programs providing
             cash and medical assistance to eligible U.S. citizens and noncitizens. For
             example, the federal government pays an average of 55 percent of each
             benefit dollar under the Aid to Families W ith Dependent Children (AF’DC)
             program while the states pay an average of 45 percent. Under the ref-
             ugee program, HHS reimburses states for their share of benefit payments
             to refugees by paying 100 percent of the costs for a specified number of
             months. After this period of reimbursement, states then incur their
             usual share of costs. In addition to AFDC,cash payments that may be
             reimbursed include Supplemental Security Income (ssr), special refugee
             cash assistance, and general assistance for refugees. Medical payments
             that may be reimbursed include Medicaid and special refugee medical
             assistance. (See app. II.)

             The refugee resettlement program also awards social services and
             targeted assistance grants to states to provide primarily employment-
             related and other services to help refugees become self-sufficient as
             soon as possible. The program also awards matching grants to private
             sector voluntary agencies. (See apps. II and III.) To the extent appropri-
             ated, such assistance provides an opportunity for refugees to acquire
             English-language instruction, employment training, and job placement.

             California is a key state in the refugee resettlement program because of
             the disproportionately large number of refugees who have resettled
             there. During the 198Os, about 284,000 refugees resettled in California,
             about 30 percent of all new arrivals in the decade. (See fig. 1.) In addi-
             tion, a significant number of refugees migrate to California from their
             initial resettlement states. While this number has declined over the

             *IIHS obtains summary data from the Internal Revenue Service on the Incomes received and taxes
             paid by Southeast Asian refugees, who comprise 70 percent of all refugees. These data show that
             1976 arrivals had achieved incomes equivalent to those of other U.S. residents by 1986. Also, those
             who an-&d between 1976 and 1979 were paying over $185 million annually in federal income taxes
             by 1987.



             Page 2                                                     GAO/HRDsl-61      Refugee Resettlement
                                        a.242497




                                        decade, California received more than twice the number of these sec-
                                        ondary migrants than any other state in 1989.2(See app. IV for more
                                        detail on secondary migration in the top-10 resettlement states.)


Figure 1: Top-10 Resettbment   States
(Fiscal Years 1980-89)
                                        200    Numbud~(inthourmdo)
                                        280’
                                        230
                                        240
                                        220
                                        200
                                        100
                                        160
                                        140
                                        120
                                        loo
                                          00
                                         00
                                         40
                                         20
                                          0
                                                      A




                                        Note: For fiscal years 1980, 1981, and 1982, data only available by state for Southeast Asian, Cuban,
                                        and Soviet refugees. All other fiscal years reflect data for all refugees entering the United States.
                                        Source: Refugee Resettlement Program: Report to the Congress, HHS, Family Support Administration,
                                        Office ofRefugee Resettlement (reports dated 1981 through 1990).




scopeand                                forma. We also conducted fieldwork in four California counties. We
Methodology                             judgmentally selected Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and
                                         Fresno to include different refugee populations and urban and rural
                                        resettlement sites. In these counties, we interviewed government offi-
                                        cials and service providers. Also, we reviewed documents, studies, and
                                        other data provided by federal, state, and local officials, but did not
                                        verify the accuracy of the information.

                                        %ome refugees have migrated from California to other states under HHSs planned secondary reset-
                                        tlement program. (See app. III.)



                                        Page 3                                                       GAO/HRDDl-51       RePugsx!Resettlement
                             B-242407




                             Our work was done between April and October 1990 in accordance with
                             generally accepted government auditing standards.


                             Since 1985, the federal government has made significant cuts in the
Principal Findings           reimbursement period for cash and medical assistance to refugees. As a
                             result, the states bear much more of these costs, estimated at $99.5 mil-
                             lion for fiscal year 1989. Cash assistance to refugees, however, consti-
                             tutes a very small percentage of a state’s total expenditures for cash
                             assistance to all persons.

                             The federal government also has cut funding for social services and
                             targeted assistance designed to help refugees become self-sufficient as
                             soon as possible. Consequently, California-the     state with the largest
                             refugee population-cut    back refugee services. Service providers we
                             talked with believe that federal cuts reduced delivery of needed services
                             to refugees and that, as a result, refugees are staying on cash assistance
                             longer than they did before the cuts.

                             Studies conducted by the state of California conclude that refugees in
                             California are remaining on welfare longer. Data collected by HHS also
                             indicate that in California the percentage of refugees receiving cash
                             assistance has increased over the last few years. In contrast, other
                             states facing the same federal funding cuts did not experience an
                             increase in their percentage of refugees on cash assistance.


Costs for Cash and Medical   W ith reductions in federal refugee assistance, costs for cash and medical
Assistance Have Shifted to   assistance have shifted to state and local governments. Available data
                             indicate that states resettling most of the refugees incur millions of dol-
State and Local              lars in transferred costs-the most recent estimate is $85 million for
Governments                  fiscal year 1990. However, these costs represent a very small percentage
                             of total state expenditures for cash assistance.

                             Since 1985, the reimbursement periods for various cash and medical
                             assistance programs for which refugees may be eligible have been
                             reduced dramatically. As a result of the amount appropriated for cash
                             and medical assistance in fiscal year 1990, HHS expected to limit reim-
                             bursements to 4 months. However, available funds were insufficient to
                             cover this period. (See table 1.)




                             Page 4                                      GAO/HRDDl-51 Refugee Resettlement
                                       B-242407




Table 1: Reduction8 in Reimbursement
Periods for Cash and Medical                                                           Reimbursement periods (in months)
Assistance Programe Since 1985                                                                  Specla;;;q:;
                                                                                 AFDC, SSI, and                          General
                                       Date of reduction                           Medicaid for          medical      assistance
                                       in reimbursement                               refugees      assistance      for refugees
                                                                                                 36a                  1f3a          19to 36apb
                                       3/l/06                                                    31                   18            19to31
                                       2/l/08                                                    24                   18            19to24
                                       m /1/88                                                   24                   12            13to24
                                       i/1/90                                                     4c                  12                  0
                                       aThis was the reimbursement period before the first reduction
                                       bHHS reimbursed the cost of general assistance during a refugee’s 19th through 36th months of resi-
                                       dence in the United States.

                                       ‘As a result of the amount appropriated for cash and medical assistance in fiscal year 1990, HHS
                                       expected to limit reimbursements to 4 months. However, available funds were insufficient to cover 4
                                       months.
                                       Source: Information on reimbursement periods before January 1, 1990, is from Refugee Resettlement
                                       Program: Report to the Congress, HHS, Family Support Administration, Office of Refugee Resettlement
                                       (reports dated 1986 through 1996). Information as of January 1, 1990, is from memoranda dated
                                       November 22, 1989, and September 24, 1990, from ORR to state refugee coordinators.


                                       As reimbursement periods have become shorter, costs have shifted from
                                       federal to state governments for cash and medical benefits provided to
                                       refugees. In 1989 and 1990, the National Governors’ Association (NGA)
                                       estimated the costs to the states of this transfer by analyzing historical
                                       and projected data obtained from HHS on the number of refugees
                                       arriving in the country, welfare dependency rates for refugees nation-
                                       wide, and cash and medical assistance costs per refugee. The highest
                                       estimate to date was $99.5 million for fiscal year 1989. (See fig. 2.)




                                       Page 5                                                          GAO/IUD-91-51 Refugee Resettlement
                                B-242407




States (Fiscal Years 1966-90)   130   MillIona of Dollars a
                                120
                                110


                                 90




                                                         r
                                 30
                                 70
                                 59
                                 60


                                30
                                20
                                10
                                 0 d---i
                                              A          A                  A
                                      1993        1937        1933   1939       1990 b
                                      Fiscal Yeam

                                Vests reflect cuts in the reimbursement period for certain cash and medical assistance programs-
                                AFDC, Medicaid, SSI, and general assistance.

                                bEstimate is understated because it does not include projected impact on states from insufficient funds
                                to cover the 4 month reimbursement period.
                                Source: NGA studies (1989, 1990).


                                Based on NGA'S estimate of the impact on states for fiscal year 1990,
                                table 2 shows the share of shifted costs that has been incurred by each
                                of the 10 states where most refugees have resettled.




                                Page 0                                                       GAO/HUD-91-61 Refugee Resettlement
Table 2: Transferred Cortr Projected for
Top-10 Resettlement State8                                                                  Estimated            Percentage
(Fiscal Year 1990)                         States                                   transferred costs                of total
                                           California                                     $37,637.348                     44.1
                                           New York                                        13,085,148                     15.3
                                           Massachusetts                                    6,594,242                      7.7
                                           Washington                                       4,897,475                      5.7
                                           Pennsvlvania                                     4.385.240                      5.1
                                           Minnesota                                        3,897,971                      4.6
                                           Illinois                                         1,824,304                      2.1
                                           Virainia                                           759.890                      0.9
                                           Texas                                              515,316                      0.6
                                           Florida                                            430,351                      0.5
                                           Other States                                    11 n319.464                    13.3
                                           Total                                         $0&,346,749
                                           Source: NGA, 1990.

                                           Of all states, California had the largest share of the cost shift projected
                                           for fiscal year 1990. California state officials estimate that costs shifted
                                           to the state in fiscal year 1991 will be even greater-$865     million, of
                                           which $73.5 million will be borne by the state and $13 million by the
                                           counties. This is in addition to an estimated annual cost of $421 million
                                           for cash assistance to California refugees who have been in the country
                                           more than 36 months.

                                           In California, AFDc expenditures for refugees represented 2.0 percent of
                                           total state AFDC expenditures for all persons during fiscal year 1989. In
                                           Minnesota, AFDC costs for refugees were 1.5 percent of total state AFDC
                                           costs, and in Massachusetts, the percentage was 0.8 percent. In the
                                           remaining seven top resettlement states, the percentage ranged from 0.1
                                           to 0.3 percent. (See app. V.)


California Counties                        Since fiscal year 1986, HHS has cut funds for both social services and
Provide Fewer Services for                 targeted assistance that are directed at promoting refugee self-
                                           sufficiency through vocational and on-the-job training, job placement,
Growing Number of                          English-language instruction, and orientation to the United States. In
Refugees                                   four counties in California, service providers believe that as a result of
                                           these reductions, they deliver fewer services and refugees are remaining
                                           longer on cash assistance.

                                           Between fiscal years 1986 and 1989, nationwide social services funds
                                           per refugee fell about 62 percent and targeted assistance per refugee


                                           Page 7                                        GAO/IUD91-61    Refugee Resettlement
                                          B-242407




                                          dropped about 62 percent. In California, social services funds per ref-
                                          ugee decreased about 42 percent and targeted assistance per refugee
                                          declined about 80 percent. (See table 3.) Given these reductions, Cali-
                                          fornia has allocated available funds among those counties with the most
                                          refugees on public assistance. During fiscal year 1989, the state made
                                          allocations available to 14 of its 58 counties. (See app. VI.)

Table 3: Reductions in Federal Refugee
Assistance Nationwide and in California                                                                     Amount of federal assistance
Between Fiscal Years 1985 and 1989                                                                                   per refugee’
                                                                                                            Fiscal 1ys~sa5’     Fiscal lysea”s’
                                          Nationwide
                                          Social services funds                                                  $1,044                     $498
                                          Targeted assistance                                                       847                      322
                                          In California
                                          &ial services funds                                                      1,110                     641
                                          Tarqeted assistance                                                      2,070                     419
                                          % constant 1989 dollars.

                                          In 4 of the 14 counties receiving federal refugee resettlement funds-
                                          Los Angeles, Santa Clara, Fresno, and San Francisco-we asked service
                                          providers and county officials how services have been affected by the
                                          funding reductions. (See app. VII for profiles of the 4 counties we vis-
                                          ited.) Available data show that in each of the 4 counties, targeted assis-
                                          tance per refugee decreased between fiscal years 1986 and 1989 and
                                          social services funds per refugee dropped between fiscal years 1988 and
                                          1989.3 For example, in Los Angeles County, which has about 29 percent
                                          of the refugees in California, targeted assistance per refugee fell 66 per-
                                          cent and social services funds per refugee declined 32 percent. (See table
                                          VII.1.)

                                          Service providers and county officials we talked with during our review
                                          told us that reductions in federal assistance have resulted in service cut-
                                          backs in English-language instruction, vocational training, preemploy-
                                          ment training, and acculturation. They believe that these services are
                                          critically important for most refugees, especially recent arrivals, who
                                          generally speak little or no English and lack necessary job skills. Also,
                                          some said that many refugees have waited several months for services
                                          as a result of funding cuts. Service providers and county officials


                                          3Data on social services funds per refugee in each county were not available for fiscal years before
                                          1988 becausethe state distributed social services funds directly to service providers during this
                                          period. The state did not allocate funds to counties until 1988.



                                          Page 8                                                       GAO/HRDBl-51 Refugee Resettlement
                           B242407




                           believe that service cutbacks and long waiting periods have prevented
                           refugees from getting off welfare sooner.


Refugee Welfare            Part of HHS’S rationale for reducing assistance to the states is to
Dependency Rate Declined   encourage them to help refugees become self-sufficient sooner. However,
                           changes in the percentage of time-eligible refugees receiving cash assis-
Slightly Overall but       tance (the refugee welfare dependency rate) and other measures of ref-
Increased in California    ugee self-sufficiency do not indicate that refugees are becoming
                           economically independent more quickly as a result of these cutbacks4

                           Nationwide, the dependency rate for time-eligible refugees has generally
                           fluctuated around SO percent throughout the 1980s. W ithout California,
                           the dependency rate nationwide has been between 31 and 41 percent. In
                           California, the rate has been much higher, fluctuating between about 80
                           and 90 percent. (See fig. 3.)




                           4A time-eligible refugee is one who has not been in the United States beyond the reimbursement
                           period. Hence, HHS reimburses the state for its share of cash and medical assistance costs for this
                           refugee.



                           Page 9                                                       GAO/HRD9l-51      Refugee Resettlement
                                         B-242407




Figure 3: Welfare Dependency Rates for
Time-Eligible Refugees (1982-89)
                                         109   Pemonfof Time-Ellglble Refugeea Receiving Caoh Asslstsnce




                                          0

                                          1962         1963           1964           lQ85      1966          1967         1966          1969
                                          Fiscal Yun

                                               -       States other than Califomla
                                               -1-1    Callfomia
                                               m       All states

                                         Source: Refugee Resettlement Program: Report to the Congress, HHS, Family Support Administration,
                                         Office of Refugee Resettlement (Jan. 31, 1990).


                                         Several reasons have been given for California’s high refugee welfare
                                         dependency rate. California state officials cited the disproportionately
                                         large number of refugees who choose the state as their new home and
                                         need financial support while they get job training. Also, one study
                                         shows that refugees in California concentrate primarily in the state’s
                                         southern metropolitan areas; consequently, employment difficulties are
                                         created.6 Another study cites the character of California’s cash assis-
                                         tance program, which provides high benefit levels and allows large,
                                         extended refugee households to receive both earned income and
                                         welfare.”




                                         “Bach, Robert, and Rita Carroll-Seguin, “Labor Force Participation, Household Composition, and
                                         Sponsorship Among Southeast Asian Refugees.”International Migration Review (Summer 1986), pp.
                                         391-404.

                                         “Bach, Robert, et al., “Household Composition and Use of Public Assistance Among Southeast Asian
                                         Refugees,”unpublished paper (1986).



                                         Page 10                                                      GAO/HRD-91-61 Refugee Resettlement




                                                                        ‘! ’
B-242407




In addition, as suggested by the county officials we spoke with, Cali-
fornia state studies confirm that refugees are staying on welfare longer.
Between 1986 and 1989, the median number of months California refu-
gees were on welfare increased from 34 to 39, and the percentage of
refugees on assistance over 5 years grew from 19 to 30 percent.

For refugees living outside California, the dependency rate has declined
during recent years to 31 percent. ORR officials said they believe the
dependency rate has been low because the U.S. economy has been
growing until recently. They also attribute the decline in welfare depen-
dency to special efforts by voluntary agencies and some states.

Some voluntary agencies, for example, participate in an alternative to
state-administered refugee programs. These private sector agencies
receive matching federal funds to provide employment services and
other resettlement assistance to refugees with the goal of helping them
become self-sufficient without public cash assistance. (See app. II.) Also,
some states participating with HHS in special projects designed to
decrease refugee reliance on welfare are changing their state refugee
and cash assistance programs. (See app. III.) ORR officials believe that
California may have to follow the example set by others and make sim-
ilar changes in its refugee and welfare programs in order to lower its
refugee welfare dependency rate.7


As agreed, we did not obtain written comments on this report but we
discussed its contents with ORR and California state officials and incor-
porated their comments as appropriate. As arranged with your office,
unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan no further
distribution of this report until 30 days from its issue date. At that time,
we will send copies to other interested congressional committees, the
Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the Office of
Refugee Resettlement, and the California State Refugee Coordinator. We
will also make copies available to others on request.




7From 1986 to 1990, California participated in a special refugee employment project with mixed
results. The final evaluation report stated that while the project helped increase the rate of refugee
employment, it did not appear to have been cost-beneficial to the state. (See app. III.)



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0242497




If you have any questions about this report, please contact me on (202)
276-6193, Major contributors to this report are listed in appendix VIII.

Sincerely yours,




Joseph F. Delfico
Director, Income Security Issues




Page 12                                    GAO/HRD-91-51 Refugee Resettlement
Page 13   GAO/HBD91-51 Refugee Resettlement
                                                                                                    /
contents


Letter                                                                                                     1

Appendix I                                                                                              18
Refugee Arrivals and
Amount of HHS
Refugee Assistance
(Fiscal Years 1985-89)
Appendix II                                                                                             19
Types of Refugee         Cash and Medical Assistance                                                    19
                                                                                                        19
Assistance From HHS      ~r~~~~~s~~~~~rants                                                             20
and Amounts for          Matching Grants to Voluntary Agencies                                          20
Fiscal Year 1989         Preventive Health Funds                                                        20

Appendix III                                                                                            22
HHS Special Projects     California Refugee Demonstration Project                                       22
                         Oregon Refugee Early Employment Project                                        22
                         Key States Initiative                                                          22
                         Planned Secondary Resettlement Program                                         23

Append.ix IV                                                                                            24
Secondary Migrant
Flow in Top-10
Resettlement States




                         Page 14                                      GAO/HRD-91-61 Refugee Resettlement




                                                                 ,.    :’
                         Contenta




Appendix V                                                                                        27
State AFDC
Expenditures for
Refugeesas a
Percentageof Total
State AFDC
Expenditures in Top-
10 Resettlement States
(Fiscal Year 1989)
Appendix VI                                                                                       28
Fourteen Counties in
California W ith the
Most Refugeeson Cash
Assistance
Appendix VII                                                                                      29
Profiles of Four         Los Angeles County
                         San Francisco County
                                                                                                  29
                                                                                                  31
California Counties      Santa Clara County                                                       33
                         Fresno County                                                            35

Appendix VIII                                                                                     37
Major Contributors to
This Report
Related GAO Products                                                                             40

Tables                   Table 1: Reductions in Reimbursement Periods for Cash
                             and Medical Assistance Programs Since 1985
                         Table 2: Transferred Costs Projected for Top-10
                             Resettlement States (Fiscal Year 1990)
                         Table 3: Reductions in Federal Refugee Assistance
                             Nationwide and in California Between Fiscal Years
                             1985and1989


                         Page 15                                  GAO/HRIbSl-51 Refugee Resettlement
          Content8




          Table 11.1:HHS Refugee Funds (Fiscal Year 1989)                             19
          Table VII. 1: Refugees and Targeted Assistance and Social                   29
              Services Funds Per Refugee in Los Angeles County
          Table VII.2: Refugees and Targeted Assistance and Social                    32
              Services Funds Per Refugee in San Francisco County
          Table VII.3: Refugees and Targeted Assistance and Social                    34
              Services Funds Per Refugee in Santa Clara County
          Table VII.4: Refugees and Targeted Assistance and Social                    36
              Services Funds Per Refugee in Fresno County

Figures   Figure 1: Top-10 Resettlement States (Fiscal Years                           3
               1980-89)
          Figure 2: Estimated Costs Shifted to States (Fiscal Years                    6
               1986-90)
          Figure 3: Welfare Dependency Rates for Time-Eligible                        10
              Refugees (1982-89)
          Figure IV. 1: Secondary Migrant Flow in Top-10                              25
              Resettlement States (1983-89)




          Abbreviations

          AFDC       Aid to Families W ith Dependent Children
          HHS        Department of Health and Human Services
          NGA        National Governors’ Association
          ORR        Office of Refugee Resettlement
          SSI        Supplemental Security Income


          Page 16                                    GAO/?IlZD-9181 Refugee Resettlement
Page 17   GAO/HRD9l-61   Reiugee Resettlement
Appendix I                                                                                                   I

RefugeeArrivals and Amount of HHS Refugee
Assistice (Fiscal Years 1985-89)

              In 1989 constant dollars
                                                        Number of
                                                          refugee            Amount of HHS
              Fiscal war                                   arrivals            assistance0
              1985                                            68,045             $470,968,000              $6,921
              1986                                            62,440              437,823,OOO                 7,012
              1987                                            64,828              366,274,OOO                 5,650
              1988                                            75,754              363,519,OOO                 4,799
              1989                                          1 05,692b             380,481,OOO                 3,600
              *HHS refugee assistance includes cash and medical assistance, social services grants, targeted assis-
              tance grants, matching grants to voluntary agencies, and preventive health funds.

              blncludes 8,721 Amerasian immigrants eligible for refugee resettlement assistance and services funded
              by HHS.
              Source: Refugee Resettlement Program: Report to the Congress, HHS, Family Support Administration,
              Office of Refugee Resettlement (reports dated 1986 through 1990).




              Page 18                                                      GAO/HRD-9161 Refugee Resettlement
              .

Appendix II

Types of RefugeeAssistance From HHShnd
Amounts for l?iscallYear 1989

                               During fiscal year 1989, HHS provided $380.5 million for refugee assis-
                               tance, as shown in table 11.1.The five types of assistance listed in the
                               table are described in more detail in this appendix.

Table 11.1:HHS Refugee Funds
(Fiscal Year 1989)             Dollars in millions
                               Type of assistance                                                                        Amount
                               Cash and medical assistance                                                                   $261 .8a
                               Social services Qrants                                                                           63.0b
                               Targeted assistance grants                                                                       34.1
                               Voluntary agency matching grants -                                                               15.8
                               Preventive health funds                                                                           5.8
                               Total                                                                                         $380.5
                               %cludes funds for cash and medical assistance, SSI, unaccompanied minors, and demonstration
                               projects.
                               blncludes funds for refugee mutual assistance associations and discretionary projects.
                               Source: Refugee Resettlement Program: Report to the Congress, HHS. Family Support Administration,
                               Office of Refugee Hesettlement (Jan. 31, 1990).



                               HHS reimburses states for the cost of cash and medical assistance pro-
Cash and Medical               vided under various programs to eligible refugees for a limited time
Assistance                     after their entry into the United States, Cash and medical payments that
                               may be reimbursed include benefits under AFDC, SSI,and Medicaid.’ Also,
                               HHS reimburses states for their share of special refugee cash and medical
                               assistance payments to needy refugees who do not qualify for these pro-
                               grams. Those refugees who neither receive special refugee cash and
                               medical assistance nor qualify for AFDC,SSI,or Medicaid may qualify for
                               state or local general assistance, which is also reimbursed by HHS for a
                               limited period. In addition, HHS reimburses states for the cost of foster
                               care for unaccompanied minor refugee children generally until after
                               they turn 18 years old. Finally, cash and medical assistance funds may
                               be used for special projects (known as demonstration projects) approved
                               by HHS to promote early employment of refugees. (See app. III.)


                               HHS also awards grants to states for social services to refugees to pro-
Social Services Grants         mote their economic self-sufficiency and reduce their dependence on
                               cash assistance. HHS requires that 85 percent of the funds be allocated to
                               services directly related to promoting self-sufficiency, including English-


                               ‘Aged, blind, and disabled refugees may be eligible for the SSI program.



                               Page 19                                                     GAO/HRD-91-61 Refugee Resettlement
                      Appendix II
                      Types of Refugee A&stance Prom HIIS and
                      Amounts for Fiscal Year 1989




                      language instruction and employment-related services, such as voca-
                      tional training, employment counseling, and job placement. The
                      remaining 16 percent may be allocated to services not specifically
                      related to employment, such as acculturation, social adjustment, and
                      translation. HHS awards social services funds to the states through a
                      formula based on each state’s share of all refugees who arrived in the
                      country during the 3 previous fiscal years and takes into account sec-
                      ondary migrants. In addition, HHS awards grants to states for refugee
                      mutual assistance associations as social service providers. Finally, HHS
                      uses some social services funds on a discretionary basis for special
                      projects (known as discretionary projects) intended to improve refugee
                      resettlement. (See app. III.)


                      HHS awards targeted assistance grants for employment and other ref-
Targeted Assistance   ugee services to heavily concentrated areas of resettlement. HHS requires
Grants                that 86 percent of the funds go towards services designed to secure
                      employment for refugees in less than 1 year. These services include
                      vocational English, on-the-job training, and job placement. Up to 15 per-
                      cent of the funds may be used for nonemployment-related services. HHS
                      awards most targeted assistance funds to eligible states on behalf of
                      their qualifying counties through a formula based on the number of
                      arriving refugees and the percentage of time-eligible refugees on cash
                      assistance. This formula does not take secondary migrants into account
                      because county or local data on them are not consistently available.


                      Under an alternative to state-administered refugee programs, HHS
Matching Grants to    awards matching grants to voluntary agencies for providing employ-
Voluntary Agencies    ment services, English-language instruction, social adjustment services,
                      food, and housing to refugees during their first 4 months after arrival.
                      The program’s goal is to help refugees attain self-sufficiency without
                      public cash assistance. HHS matches the funds contributed by voluntary
                      agencies up to $957 per refugee.


                      For health screening and follow-up medical services for refugees, HHS
Preventive Health     provides funds to: (1) Centers for Disease Control personnel overseas to
Funds                 monitor the quality of medical screening for refugees coming to the
                      United States; (2) Public Health Service quarantine officers at ports of
           v          entry to inspect refugees’ medical records and notify state and local
                      health departments about conditions requiring follow-up medical care;



                      Page 20                                    GAO/HRD-91-61 Refugee Resettlement
‘Qper of Refugee hsietance From HIiS and
Amounts for FIncal Year 1989




and (3) Public Health Service regional offices to award grants to state
and local health agencies for refugee health assessment services.




Page 21                                    GAO/HRBDl-51 Refugee Resettlement
Appendix III

HHS Special Projects


                               HHS  provides funding for various special projects, known as demonstra-
                               tion and discretionary projects, designed to increase refugee self-
                               sufficiency. Demonstration projects promote the early employment of
                               refugees and enable states, voluntary agencies, and others to develop
                               innovsttive approaches for providing cash and medical assistance and
                               social services.’ Discretionary projects are designed to improve refugee
                               resettlement at national, regional, state, and community levels. Some of
                               HHS’S major demonstration and discretionary projects are described
                               below.


                      From 1985 until 1990, California participated in a project to demon-
California Refugee    strate that refugees could become employed and self-sufficient sooner
Demonstration Project by removing welfare provisions that took away cash assistance upon
                               employment. The final evaluation report on the project indicated mixed
                               results. While refugee project participants entered employment at a
                               higher rate than did refugees before the project, the state had greater
                               welfare cost savings before than during the project.


                               Since 1985, Oregon has been involved in a demonstration project to
Oregon Refugee Early            show that providing refugee assistance outside of the normal welfare
Employment Project             system-by the voluntary agencies actively resettling the refugees-
                               would reduce refugee welfare dependency. Under the project, refugees
                               started receiving cash assistance from voluntary agencies instead of
                               state welfare offices. The contractor responsible for evaluating the pro-
                               ject reported that it has successfully met one major objective of placing
                               at least 75 percent of employable refugees in permanent full-time
                               employment within 18 months after arrival in the country.


                               Since 1987, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Washington have par-
Key States Initiative          ticipated in a discretionary project to design and implement individual-
                               ized strategies to increase refugee employment and lower welfare
                               dependency among targeted populations in selected communities. Wis-
                               consin, for example, started using refugee clan leaders and mutual assis-
                               tance associations to provide motivational counseling, on-the-job
                               training, and job placement services. Washington provided refugees a
                               new incentive to get off welfare by reimbursing them for job-related
                               expenses. HHS reported that, as a result of the changes Wisconsin and

                                ‘Demonstration projects are authorized under the Wilson/Fish Amendment to the Immigration and
                                Nationality Act (8 USC. 1622(e)).



                                Page 22                                                 GAO/HRD-91-61 Refugee Resettlement
                       Appendix III
                       HHsspedalProjecte




                       Washington made in their state refugee programs, these states have
                       made dramatic progress in increasing employment and reducing depen-
                       dency. HHS also reported that it will continue to work with New York
                       and Minnesota in their efforts.


                       Since 1983, this discretionary program has relocated over 1,000 refu-
Planned Secondary      gees from areas of high welfare dependency in California, Minnesota,
Resettlement Program   and W isconsin to small refugee communities in the South and Southwest
                       that offer greater employment opportunities. HHS reported that relo-
                       cated families have dramatically increased employment and income and
                       reduced welfare dependency. Eligible program grantees include states,
                       voluntary agencies, and mutual assistance associations.




                       Page 23                                  GAO/HRDDl-Sl   Refugee Resettlement
Appendix IV

Secondary Migrant Flow in Top-10
l&settlement States

               Since 1983, the HHS O?fice of Refugee Resettlement has compiled data on
               secondary migrants from state-reported data of the number of refugees
               receiving services on June 30th of each year. Reporting practices vary
               among states; for example, some states (such as California) report only
               those secondary migrants receiving cash and medical assistance, while
               other states include secondary migrants receiving social services
               without cash and medical assistance. Despite these variations, the data
               clearly show that California has received a disproportionate share of
               secondary migrants throughout the decade, while most of the other top
               resettlement states have usually had a net outflow of refugees. (See fig.
               IV-l.)




               Page 24                                    GAO/H&D-ol-61 Refugee Resettlement
                                         Appendix IV
                                         Secondaxy M&cant Ftow tn Top10
                                         Besettlement States




                                                                                                                                                   -
Figure lV.l: Secondary Migrant Flow in     ,,                      _ . - - .
lop-l 0 Resettlement States (1983-89)    24000      NatIllgrant Flow Into or Out ot the Stat. a
                                         22009
                                         2oooo
                                         18ooo
                                         leooo
                                         14ooo
                                         12000
                                         10000
                                         6600
                                         6ow
                                         4ooo
                                         2ow
                                                0
                                         4ooo

                                           8/90/83b            mom4             6/30/95           0mom9       mom7          S/30/88          6laol69


                                                    -         California
                                                    I I - -   Other nine states (average)c


                                         aNet migrant flow is defined as the number of refugees receiving services in a state who were initially
                                         placed elsewhere (in-migrants), minus the number of refugees initially placed in a state but receiving
                                         services elsewhere (out-migrants).

                                         bComparable data not available prior to 1983.
                                         COther nine states include: Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas,
                                         Virginia, and Washington. Net migrant flow for these states ranged from -4419 (Texas, 6/30/84) to 2629
                                         (Massachusetts, 6/30/88).
                                         Source: Refugee Resettlement Program: Report to the Congress, HHS, Family Support Administration,
                                         Office of Refugee Resettlement (reports dated 1984 through 1990).




                                         Page 2S                                                          GAO/HRD-91-61 Refugee Resettlement
.-

     Appendix Iv
     Secondary Migrant Flow in Top-10
     Resettlement States




     In 1989, California data reported to HHS showed a net inflow of 1,582
     secondary m igrants. However, estimates from the California Depart-
     ment of Finance indicate that during fiscal year 1989, the state experi-
     enced a net increase of 13,280 Southeast Asian refugees.’




     lTh~~s~!estimates were based on data on Southeast Asian refugee school children.




     Page 26                                                    GAO/HRD-91-61 Refugee Resettlement
         .
Appendix V

State AF’DC lk-penditures for Refugeesas a
Percentageof Total State AF’DC Expenditures
in Top-10 Resettlement States (F’iscal
Yeax 1989)
               Parcant ot Total State AFDC Expenditurea

               2-o r-
               1.6

               1.6

               1.4

               1.2

               1.0

               0.6

               0.6

               0.4

               0.2

                0




                To~-l0 Resettlement States

               Source: Data on state AFDC expenditures for refugees are based on GAO analysis of data on federally
               reimbursed AFDC expenditures obtained from HHS, Office of Refugee Resettlement (1990). Data on
               estimated total state AFDC expenditures are based on GAO analysis of data on total (federal and state)
               AFDC expenditures and data on the federal share of AFDC expenditures from Background Material and
               Data on Programs Within the Jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means, US House of Repre-
               sentatives (June 5, 1990).




               Page 27                                                     GAO/HRD91-61 Refugee Resettlement
Appendix VI                                                                                                     7

Fourteen Counties in California With the Most
Refugeeson Cash Assistance

                                                                                               Number of refugees
                  County’                                                                      on cash assistance
                  Alameda                                                                                       13,570
                  Contra Costa                                                                                   3,512
                  Fresnn                                                                                        21,886
                  Los Angeles                                                                                   67,713
                                                                                                                 - _^^
                  Merced                                                                                         I ,bYU
                  Orange                                                                                        21,159
                  Riverside                                                                                      2,197
                  Sacramento                                                                                    17,448
                  San Bernardino                                                                                    1,746
                  San Diego                                                                                     12,381
                  San Francisco                                                                                  8,089
                  San Joaquin                                                                                   21,885
                  Santa Clara                                                                                   16,840
                  Stanislaus                                                                                     6,983
                  Total                                                                                       222,999
                  %ring fiscal year 1989, California made allocations available to 14 counties based on the average
                  refugee population on cash assistance during 1988.
                  Source: California Department of Social Services, Refugee and Immigration Programs Branch, 1990.




              Y




                  Page 29                                                     GAO/HID-91-61 Refugee Resettlement
Appendix VII

Profiles of Four California Counties


                                     We conducted fieldwork in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and
                                     Fresno. Each county profile describes (1) recent changes in refugee pop-
                                     ulation and targeted assistance and social services funds per refugee
                                     and (2) information from and views of service providers and county
                                     officials on how reductions in HHS refugee assistance have affected ref-
                                     ugee services.


                                     Los Angeles County has the highest number of refugees in California.
Los Angeles County                   During fiscal year 1989, the county’s refugee population represented
                                     about 29 percent of the state’s 567,839 refugees. Between fiscal years
                                     1986 and 1989, the county’s refugee population grew dramatically as
                                     significant cuts were made in targeted assistance per refugee. Social ser-
                                     vices funds per refugee have also dropped since 1988. (See table VII. 1.)

Table VII.1: Refugees and Targeted
A&stance and Social Services Funds                                                                             Funds per refugee’
Per Refugee in Los Angeles County                                                        Number of            Targeted           Social
                                     Fiscal year                                          refugees          assistance         services
                                     1985b                                                   85.600c                 $65                         .
                                     1 986b                                                  93,300c                  57                         .
                                     1987b,d                                                130,224                     .
                                     1988                                                   152,631                    19                  $4;
                                     1989                                                   164.467                    22                   28
                                     Percentage    change   since 1985                         +92e                  -66e                 -32'
                                     aAmounts are in 1989 constant dollars,

                                     bFor 1985, 1986, and 1987, data on social services funds per refugee in the county are not available
                                     because during these years the state distributed social services funds directly to service providers. The
                                     state did not allocate funds to counties until 1988.

                                     Qata available only for Southeast Asian refugees.

                                     dFor 1987, no funds for targeted assistance were appropriated because employment and other refugee
                                     services were expected to continue during that year using 1986 targeted assistance appropriations and
                                     unspent 1984 and 1985 targeted assistance funds carried forward by states.

                                     *The percentage change may be less than indicated because in 1985 data on the number of refugees
                                     were available only for Southeast Asian refugees. Data on non-Southeast Asian refugees were not avail-
                                     able until 1987 when they started entering the state in significant numbers.

                                     ‘Number represents percentage change since 1988
                                     Source: Data on the number of refugees are from Estimates of Refugees in California Counties and the
                                     State, California Department of Finance (reports for 1985 through 1989). Uata on funds per refugee are
                                     fromGAO3 analysis of data on the number of refugees and from data on targeted assistance and social
                                     services allocations obtained from California Department of Social Services, Refugee and Immigration
                                     Programs Branch.


                                     Major service providers and county officials said that reductions in HHS
                                     targeted assistance and social services funds have resulted in cutbacks


                                     Page 29                                                       GAO/HRD-91-51 Refugee Resettlement
Appendix VII
Profiles of Four Ce.lif’oruia Couutiee




in important refugee services, including English-language instruction,
vocational training, preemployment training, and programs providing
work experience and technical assistance on how to start new
businesses.

For example, staff for one service provider indicated that they elimi-
nated some services and reduced others significantly because of cuts in
targeted assistance and social services funds. Our review of perform-
ance reports showed that this provider eliminated vocational training
for nursing assistants and food servers in fiscal year 1988 and technical
assistance on how to start new businesses in fiscal year 1986. Perform-
ance reports showed that before these services were eliminated, 154 ref-
ugees received vocational training and 16 businesses were created or
expanded. Personnel for this service provider told us that employers
continue to contact them for more refugee referrals, which they cannot
make because refugees no longer receive this training. Consequently,
they believe that refugees have missed good job and business opportuni-
ties as a result of these lost services. Also, they cited cutbacks in their
English-language instruction program and programs providing work
experience and preemployment training as a result of funding cuts.

Similarly, personnel for another service provider told us that they
reduced vocational training because targeted assistance and social ser-
vices funds were cut. They explained that, during 1985, they held voca-
tional training classes in the morning and afternoon all year long, but
this year they held classes only in the morning and for no longer than 8
months. The dental assistant class we observed was planned to be held
for only 5 months instead of most of the year.

The waiting period for services has also been extended, according to ser-
vice providers and county officials. In the state’s report on 1988 and
1989 targeted assistance activities, Los Angeles County reported that
with about 26,000 refugee arrivals in fiscal year 1988 and the first half
of fiscal year 1989, all training programs funded with targeted assis-
tance and social services funds were over-enrolled and had waiting lists
months long. For example, county memoranda indicate that as of
October 1988, about 2,000 refugees were waiting for English skills
testing and referral to English-language instruction programs. Many of
these refugees would have to wait as long as 7 months. In response to
the problem of inadequate services, the county entered into several




Page 30                                     GAO/HRD-91-61 Refugee Resettlement
   .
                       Appendix VII
                       Profiles of Four California Counties




                       nonfunded’ agreements with various school districts and agencies to
                       provide English-language instruction and vocational training.

                       Service providers and county officials believe that service cutbacks and
                       a long wait for services have prevented refugees from becoming self-
                       sufficient sooner. In the state’s 1990 targeted assistance report, the
                       county stated that its refugees are extremely difficult to train and place
                       in employment because they lack English and transferable job skills and
                       education.


                       San Francisco County had about 7 percent of the state’s refugee popula-
San Francisco County   tion at the end of fiscal year 1989. Between fiscal years 1985 and 1989,
                       the number of refugees has grown while targeted assistance per refugee
                       has fallen. Also, social services funds per refugee have decreased since
                       1988. (See table VII.2.)




                       ‘Nonfunded service providers did not receive targeted assistance or social services funds but did
                       receive I’ell grants for refugee students.



                       Page 31                                                     GAO/HRD-91-61 Refugee Resettlement
                                       Appendix M
                                       Profiles of Four CalIfomia Counties




Table Vll.2: Refugees and Targeted
Assistance and Social Services Funds                                                                             Funds per refugee0
Per Refugee in San Francisco County                                                        Number of            Targeted           Social
                                       Fiscal year                                          refugees          assistance         services
                                       198tib                                                  29,400c                 $49                         .
                                       1 986b                                                  28,400c                  43                         .
                                                                                                                                             -
                                       1987b'd                                                 33,508                     .
                                       1988                                                    34.456                    13                  $26'
                                       1989                                                    37,511                    11                   15
                                       Percentage    change   since 1985                         +2EP                  -7ae                 -42'
                                       aAmounts are in 1989 constant dollars
                                       bFor 1985, 1986, and 1987, data on social services funds per refugee in the county are not available
                                       because during these years the state distributed social services funds directly to service providers. The
                                       state did not allocate funds to counties until 1988.

                                       CData available only for Southeast Asian refugees

                                       dFor 1987, no funds for targeted assistance were appropriated because employment and other refugee
                                       services were expected to continue during that year using 1986 targeted assistance appropriations and
                                       unspent 1984 and 1985 targeted assistance funds carried forward by states.
                                       ‘The percentage change may be less than indicated because in 1985 data on the number of refugees
                                       were available only for Southeast Asian refugees. Data on non-Southeast Asian refugees were not avail-
                                       able until 1987 when they started entering the state in significant numbers.

                                       ‘Number indicates percentage change since 1988.
                                       Source: Data on the number of refugees are from Estimates of Refugees in California Counties and the
                                       State, California Department of Finance (reports for 1985 through 1989). Data on funds per refugee are
                                       fromGAO’s analysis of data on number of refugees and data on targeted assistance and social services
                                       allocations obtained from California Department of Social Services, Refugee and Immigration Programs
                                       Branch.


                                       Reductions in HHS targeted assistance and social services funds resulted
                                       in some important service cuts, according to most service providers and
                                       county officials. Affected services included English-language instruc-
                                       tion, vocational and on-the-job training, and acculturation.

                                       For example, staff for one service provider told us that they cut back
                                       on-the-job training because of reductions in targeted assistance per ref-
                                       ugee. Before 1989, about 60 Soviet refugees a year were given on-the-job
                                       training in their former professions as computer programmers and engi-
                                       neers and placed in high-paying jobs. When funds were cut, however,
                                       clerical office skills training was substituted at a lower cost per refugee.
                                       Personnel for this provider said that the cut in on-the-job training
                                       reduced many refugees’ chances to become permanently self-sufficient.
                                       They believe that it is now taking longer for Soviet refugees to find
                                       employment and get off welfare.




                                       Page 32                                                       GAO/IUD-91-51 Refugee Resettlement
                     Appendix VII
                     Prof’ilee of Four California Counties




                      Similarly, personnel for another service provider said that cuts in
                      targeted assistance per refugee resulted in a cut in their on-the-job
                      training in manufacturing and clerical occupations. Consequently, the
                      number of refugees receiving on-the-job training fell from 21 to 4 during
                      the past 6 years. Personnel for this service agency told us that because
                      of the service cut, some refugees have been unable to find jobs and must
                      remain on cash assistance longer.

                      In addition to cutbacks in services directly related to employment, other
                      important services that help refugees adjust to the United States have
                      been cut because of reduced funds. Staff for one service provider said
                      that they eliminated acculturation and counseling programs and gave
                      only minimal counseling in conjunction with employment-related
                      classes. Staff believe that cuts in these services may hinder refugees
                      from becoming self-sufficient sooner because they may have serious
                      adjustment problems.

                      Service providers and county officials said that service cutbacks have
                      hurt refugees in their efforts to achieve economic independence. Like
                      their counterparts in other locations, refugees resettling in San Fran-
                      cisco County must overcome certain barriers to employment. In the
                     -state’s 1989 targeted assistance report, the county stated that its recent
                      Southeast Asian arrivals were from rural communities in their home-
                      lands and had little or no formal education. Many had few skills appro-
                      priate for the local urban labor market. As for the Eastern European
                      and Soviet refugees, the report indicated that their major obstacle to
                      employment was poor English-language skills.


                     Santa Clara County had about 9 percent of the state’s refugees at the
Santa Clara County   end of fiscal year 1989. Between fiscal years 1985 and 1989, the
                     county’s refugee population has increased while targeted assistance per
                     refugee has decreased. Also, social services funds per refugee have
                     declined since 1988. (See table VII.3.)




                     Page 33                                      GAO/HRD-91-61 Refugee Resettlement
                                       Appendix     VII
                                       Profllea of Four Calit’ornia Counties




Table Vll.3: Refugee8 and Targeted
A$$lstance and Social Servlcem Fund8                                                                             Funds per refugee0
Per Refugee in Santa Clara County                                                           Number of           Targeted           Social
                                       Fircal war                                            refuaees         assistance         services
                                       1 98cib                                                 36,600c                 $51                         .
                                       1 986b                                                  37,600c                   42                        .
                                       1987btd                                                 43,402                      .
                                       1988                                                    43,364                    20                  $4;
                                       1989                                                    48,476                    18                   24
                                       Percentaoe         chanae   since 1985                    +32e                  -6V                  -43’
                                       BAmounts are in 1989 constant dollars
                                       bFor 1985 1986, and 1987, data on social services funds per refugee in the county are not available
                                       because during these years the state distributed social services funds directly to service providers. The
                                       state did not allocate funds to counties until 1988.

                                       ‘Data available only for Southeast Asian refugees.

                                       dFor 1987, no funds for targeted assistance were appropriated because employment and other refugee
                                       services were expected to continue during that year using 1986 targeted assistance appropriations and
                                       unspent 1984 and 1985 targeted assistance funds carried forward by states.

                                       ‘The percentage change may be less than indicated because in 1985 data on the number of refugees
                                       were available only for Southeast Asian refugees. Data on non-Southeast Asian refugees were not avail-
                                       able until 1987 when they started entering the state in significant numbers.

                                       ‘Number represents percentage change since 1988.
                                       Source: Data on the number of refugees are from Estimates of Refugees in California Counties and the
                                       State, California Department of Finance (reports for
                                                                                         9851
                                       fromGA0’~ analysis of data on number of refugees and jLt?%targeted        assistance and social services
                                       allocations obtained from California Department of Social Services, Refugee and Immigration Programs
                                       Branch.


                                       Some service providers and county officials told us that reductions in
                                       targeted assistance and social services funds resulted in cutbacks in
                                       English-language instruction, pre- and post-employment training,
                                       employment services, and vocational training.

                                       Based on discussions with county officials and the state’s targeted assis-
                                       tance reports for 1987 through 1990, the elimination of pre- and post-
                                       employment training may mean a loss in service that many refugees
                                       need to become self-sufficient as quickly as possible. Pre- and post-
                                       employment training was introduced to specifically address a major
                                       obstacle to employment- serious motivational and attitudinal problems
                                       refugees had as a result of cultural differences and health and other
                                       problems. Through motivational and counseling workshops, this training
                                       helped refugees overcome cultural and attitudinal barriers. In addition,
                                       refugees learned about the local labor market and the concept of




                                       Page 34                                                       GAO/HRD-91-61 Refugee Resettlement
                Appendix VII
                ProfIlea of Four CaMornla Countiee

                           c




                upward mobility. However, cuts in targeted assistance and social ser-
                vices funds forced the county to eliminate this successful program,
                according to county officials.

                Cuts in HHS funds also resulted in refugees waiting longer for services,
                according to most service providers and county officials. Lists of refu-
                gees waiting to be processed and referred to training services show that
                the waiting period increased from 1 month during 1986 and 1987 to
                from 6 to 12 months during 1989 and 1990. Staff for the service pro-
                vider who processes and refers refugees to training said that during the
                first half of 1990, they referred 194 refugees while 466 stayed on the
                waiting list. Most service providers we spoke with told us that the long
                wait for services discourages refugees and prolongs their dependence on
                welfare.

                In the state’s targeted assistance reports for 1988 through 1990, the
                county indicated that its refugees face formidable barriers in their
                efforts to obtain employment and financial independence. These barriers
                include acculturation and mental health problems in addition to the
                absence of English and job skills and work experience. Furthermore,
                more recent arrivals are less educated and need more English-language
                instruction than earlier arrivals.


                At the end of fiscal year 1989, Fresno County had about 6 percent of the
Fresno County   refugees in the state. Between fiscal years 1985 and 1989, the county’s
                refugee population increased significantly as targeted assistance per ref-
                ugee decreased. Social services funds per refugee also fell since 1988.
                (See table VII.4.)




                Page 35                                     GAO/HRD-91-51 Refugee Resettlement
                                       Appendix M
                                       Froflles of Four CalEornia Counties




Table Vll.4: Refugees and Targeted
Assistance and Social Services Funds                                                                             Funds per refugee’
Per Refugee in Fresno County                                                                Number of           Targeted           Social
                                       Fiscal year                                           refugees         assistance         services
                                       198tjb                                                  15.oooc                 $41                      .
                                       1986b                                                   22,100c                  38                      .
                                       1 987b,d                                                26,639                      .                    .
                                       1988                                                    32,784                    27                  $55
                                       1989                                                    35.873-                   34                   42
                                       Percentaaechannesince1985                                +139e                  -17e                 -24'
                                       ‘Amounts are in 1989 constant dollars.
                                       bFor 1985, 1986, and 1987, data on social services funds per refugee in the county are not available
                                       because during these years, the state distributed social services funds directly to service providers. The
                                       state did not allocate funds to counties until 1988.
                                       CData available only for Southeast Asian refugees.

                                       dFor 1967, no funds for targeted assistance were appropriated because employment and other refugee
                                       services were expected to continue during that year using 1986 targeted assistance appropriations and
                                       unspent 1984 and 1985 targeted assistance funds carried forward by states.

                                       BThe percentage change may be less than indicated because in 1985 data on the number of refugees
                                       were available only for Southeast Asian refugees. Data on non-Southeast Asian refugees were not avail-
                                       able until 1987 when they started entering the state in significant numbers.

                                       ‘Number represents percentage change since 1988
                                       Source: Data on the number of refugees are from Estimates of Refugees in California Counties and the
                                       State, California Department of Finance (reports for 1985 through 1989). Data on funds per refugee are
                                       fromGA0’~ analysis of data on number of refugees and data on targeted assistance and social services
                                       allocations obtained from California Department of Social Services, Refugee and Immigration Programs
                                       Branch.


                                       Reductions in targeted assistance and social services funds have
                                       resulted in cutbacks in services, according to some service providers and
                                       county officials. While the services affected are not directly related to
                                       employment, they are important because they help refugees adjust to
                                       life in the United States. These services include acculturation, coun-
                                       seling, information and referral services, and legal services,

                                       W ith the elimination of nonemployment-related services, such as accul-
                                       turation and counseling, refugees may develop mental health problems,
                                       according to county officials. Refugees who have difficulties adjusting
                                       to the United States may become depressed and develop serious stress
                                       disorders. County officials estimated that between 1989 and 1990, the
                                       number of refugees seeking help from county mental health counselors
                                       increased between 5 and 10 percent. They attribute the increase to the
                                       elimination of acculturation and counseling services formerly funded by
                                       HHS.




                                       Page 36                                                       GAO/HRD-91-61 Refugee Resettlement
Appendix VIII

Major Contributors to This Fkport


                   Cynthia A. Bascetta, Assistant Director, (ZUZ) Z’IbUUZU
Human Resources
Division,
Washington, D.C.
                   Margie K. Shields, Regional Management Representative
San Francisco      Ann Lee, Evaluator-in-Charge
Regional Office    Melody Butler, Evaluator
                   Lisa Lensing, Evaluator




                   Page 37                                    GAO/HRDfU-61 Refugee Resettlement
Page 38   GAO/EIRDS1-51 Refugee Resettlement
Page 39   GAO/HBDS1-61 Refugee Resettlement
! Related GAO Products


                 Soviet Refugees: Issues Affecting Domestic Resettlement
                 (GAO/HRDDo-106BR, June 26, 1999)

                 Soviet Refugees: Processing and Admittance to the United States
                 (GAO/NSIADSO-168, May9, 1996)

                 Asian Americans: A Status Report (GAO~HRD-DO-36Fs,Mar. 8, 1996)

                 Refugees From Eastern Europe (GAO/T-NSIAD-90-07, Nov. 2, 1989)

                 Processing Soviet Refugees (GAO/T-mm-89-47,      Sept. 14, 1989)

                 PrOCeSSing Soviet Refugees (GAO/T-NSIAD-89-22, Apr. 6, 1989)

                 Refugee Programs: Financial Accountability for Refugee Resettlement
                 Can Be Improved (GAO/NSIm-89-92, Mar. 17, 1989)

                 Refugees and U.S. Asylum Seekers From Central America
                 (GAO/T-~~~-89-16, Mar. 9, 1989)

                 Refugees: Overseas Processing of Admission Applications
                                         1988)
                 (GAO/NSIAD-88-221,&!pt.9,

                 Refugee Program: Status of Early Employment Demonstration Projects
                 (GAO/NSIAD88-91, Feb.3, 1988)

                 Refugee Program: Initial Reception and Placement of New Arrivals
                 Should Be Improved (GAO/NSIAD-86-69, Apr. 7, 1986)




  (loaaro)       Page 40                                       GAO/IiRD-91-61 Refugee   Resettlement
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