Congressional passage of the Refugee Act of 1980 (Section 411. [8 U.S.C. 1521]) codified the United States’ historic policy of aiding individuals fleeing persecution from their homelands. The Federal Refugee Resettlement Program purpose is to effectively resettle refugees and assist them to achieve economic self-sufficiency as quickly as possible after arrival in the United States.
Recognizing that refugees face many obstacles and challenges to reaching that goal, the Arizona Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP), the State’s refugee program, administers transitional benefits and services to assist refugees’ adjustment to life in the U.S. RRP is 100 percent funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
Locally based private refugee resettlement agencies called “voluntary agencies” (VOLAGs (11 KB PDF)), welcome refugees upon their arrival to the United States and provide them essential services during their first 30 days in the U.S. These services are provided under cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and link to RRP’s federally funded transitional benefits and services, such as refugee cash and medical assistance, employment services, English language training and case management that help facilitate refugees’ and other eligible beneficiaries achieving the goals of successful resettlement and economic self-sufficiency.
Since the inception of the program in 1978, over 60,000 refugees have made Arizona home.
The Arizona Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP) Eligible Beneficiaries
A "Refugee" is defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act as:
“…any person who is outside any country of such person’s nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”
Asylees, Cuban / Haitian entrants, certain Amerasians, Special Immigrant Visa holders and victims of severe forms of human trafficking are among the other humanitarian immigrants eligible for assistance and services under the Refugee Act.
Click on the link below for the latest aggregate number of refugee arrivals listed by country of origin.
Refugee Arrivals Report(410 KB PDF)
English Language Training
English Language Training (ELT) for refugees and other eligible beneficiaries focuses on the acquisition of English skills necessary for obtaining and maintaining employment and that are consistent with the National Teaching English as Second Language (TESOL) Standards.
Services and Funding
RRP contracts with local refugee-serving agencies to provide services to refugees based on the following service areas:
RRP supports and advances successful refugee resettlement through the coordination of public and private resources. Contractors are required to provide services in ways that respect the cultural and linguistic needs of clients.
Click here for a list of current contractors(97KB PDF)
Three federal agencies play key roles in the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program.
Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is responsible for the domestic program of refugee resettlement services - including cash and medical assistance and a broad range of social services.
ORR State Letters
Information for asylees seeking services supported by ORR is now available on the ORR website.
The U.S. Department of State coordinates resettlement policy, overseas processing, cultural orientation, transportation to the U.S., and the Reception & Placement program for newly arrived refugees.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security determines which applicants meet the requirements for refugee status and are admissible to the United States under U.S. law.