State Letter #01-31

Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2002 Presidential Determination and StepsTaken by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to Address the Impact of September 11 on Refugee Communities

Publication Date: December 5, 2001


FROM: Nguyen Van Hanh, Ph.D.
Office of Refugee Resettlement

SUBJECT: Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2002 Presidential Determination and Steps Taken by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to Address the Impact of September 11 on Refugee Communities

The FFY 2002 Presidential Determination

On November 21, 2001, the President signed Presidential Determination #2002-04 (copy attached) that authorizes the admission of up to 70,000 refugees during Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2002.

As a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, the Department of State (DOS) has implemented additional overseas security checks for refugees entering the U.S. during FFY 2002. These include:

1.Conducting security checks on applicants for refugee status prior to interviews with Immigration and Naturalization (INS) officers;

2.Requiring that photographs of refugees be taken on site at Overseas Processing Entities (OPEs); and
3.Return of all approved Priority Three and Priority Four cases for an INS anti-fraud and security review.
It is anticipated that as soon as the new overseas security procedures are in place, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will begin booking travel arrangements for new refugee arrivals.

Please refer to the attached copy of the DOS unclassified cable outlining the new security procedures.

ORR Response to the Events of 9/11/01

In response to the events of September 11, 2001, which have had profound effects on refugee families and communities, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has taken
the two following steps to address the needs created directly or indirectly from these events.

1) Matching Grant Response

ORR has agreed to allow Matching Grant (MG) agencies to draw down Federal funds in the absence of refugee arrivals during the last three months of calendar year (CY) 2001 to keep their infrastructure intact and to provide for additional services and goods to MG clients who have lost their jobs.

Key aspects of ORR's response to the MG agencies are as follows:

  • ORR will hold harmless all MG agencies for meeting the 75 percent threshold for enrollees at this time.
  • ORR will allow MG agencies to draw down at a rate of $1,000 per capita in Federal funds for any shortfall in enrollments during the hiatus in arrivals for CY 2001 up to the approved projected enrollment figure. For clients enrolled, agencies will continue to draw down the full complement of Federal funds and match those funds per the approved CY 2001 budgets.
  • ORR will continue to require MG agencies to match all Federal funds drawn down at the matching rate of $1 in match for each $2 in Federal funds. Note that the match requirements of at least 20% in cash and no less than 80% in in-kind goods and services still apply.
  • ORR will allow MG agencies to carry forward to CY 2002 the unexpended CY 2001 balances which will not be used for transitional cash or rent due to no (or low) refugee arrivals during the period from October 1 - December 31, 2001. These CY 2001 unexpended funds will be used to offset CY 2002 awards.
    2) Blanket Waiver of 45 CFR 400.152(b) Regarding the Five Year (60-month) Limitation on Use of Social Services Formula Funding during FFY 2002
  • For grantees under the State-administered program, the replacement designee provision and the Wilson/Fish Alternative program, this letter serves as notice to all FFY 2001 recipients of social services formula allocations that effective with receipt
    of this letter and for the remainder of FFY 2002 (until September 30, 2002), the Director of ORR has waived the five year (60-month) limitation on social services. Refugees who have been in the U.S. longer than 60 months (five years), but have not attained U.S. citizenship, may receive social services from refugee providers. These services may include all services listed under 45 CFR 400.154 and 400.155, except 400.155(h). 45 CFR 400.155(h) refers to "any additional service, upon submission to and approval by the Director of ORR, aimed at strengthening and supporting the ability of a refugee individual, family, or refugee community to achieve and maintain economic self-sufficiency, family stability, or community integration, which has been demonstrated as effective and is not available from any other funding source." This requires a separate waiver from the Director of ORR.

ORR will share additional information with the States and other major stakeholder groups as the information becomes available. We have delayed decisions on funding until ORR has received its FFY 2002 appropriation from Congress.

For further details regarding this State Letter, please contact Carmel Clay-Thompson at (202) 401-4557 or Gayle Smith at (202) 205-3590.

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