Discontinuation of Cuban/Haitian Social Services Set Aside Program

Dear Colleague Letter 17-05

Date: June 21, 2017

Dear Colleague:

The Department of Homeland Security ended what is often referred to as the "wet-foot/dry foot" policy in January 2017.1 Since then, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has seen a dramactic drop in the number of Cuban entrants. Due to this dramatic decrease, ORR will discontinue the Cuban/Haitian Social Services Set-Aside Program on September 30, 2017 (the last day of fiscal year 2017).

Social Services Formula Grants
ORR bases its funding for the ORR Social Services Formula Grant Program, which includes the Cuban/Haitain set-aside, on populations. When populations change, such as the decrease in the Cuban population, ORR adjusts its program funding in order to serve the needs of the arriving
populations. The adjustment also improves the ability of the states to respond to the shifts in the arrival patterns. Therefore, for fiscal year (FY) 2018, ORR will base its program funding and set­ aside program funding on the arriving populations from FY 2017 only.2

Eligibility for Benefits
Despite the change in the set-aside program, Cuban and Haitian entrants remain eligible for ORR benefits and services. States, grantees, and service providers should continue to provide ORR resettlement benefits and services to Cubans and Haitians who meet the definition of Cuban and Haitian entrant and have the required documentation.

Thank you for your attention to this important programmatic change. If you have questions about this Dear Colleague Letter, please contact Joann Simmons at Joann.simmons@acf.hhs.gov or 202.401.5409.

E. Scott Lloyd
Office of Refugee Resettlement


1. For more information about the end of the "wet foot/dry foot" policy, see ORR Policy Letter #17-01, available at www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/resource/cuban-entrants-remain-eligible-for-orr-b....
2. See 8 U.S.C. § 1522(c)(1)(8).

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