Texas Replacement Designees

Dear Colleague Letter 17-03

Publication Date: March 3, 2017

Date: January 31, 2017

Dear Colleague:

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has selected four Regional Replacement Designees to administer the refugee resettlement program for the state of Texas, commencing operations on February 1, 2017. ORR has also chosen a Medical Replacement Designee (MRD) and a Designee for the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program (URD). The organizations designated are:

Region 1: Abilene, Amarillo, El Paso, Midland - International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Region 2: Dallas, Fort Worth - Catholic Charities Fort Worth

Region 3: Austin, Corpus Christi, San Antonio - Refugee Services of Texas - Austin

Region 4: Houston - YMCA of Greater Houston

MRD: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

URD: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The Replacement Designees will assume the role previously held by the state of Texas to provide critical services and benefits to refugees and other populations served by ORR in Texas. ORR values the support and partnership of states, including Texas, to welcome and integrate newcomers into the fabric of our nation.

ORR and its federal partners are working with states to ensure that all ORR-served populations have access to the critical resources needed to help them rebuild their lives in the United States, while continuing to protect the safety and security of communities.


In the summer of 2016, Texas submitted notice of its intent to withdraw from the state- administered refugee resettlement program unless their amended 2017 State Plan was unconditionally approved. The proposed amendments included two new provisions that were outside of the purview of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which prohibited ORR from being able to approve them.

Consistent with ORR regulations at 45 CFR 400.301, the Director of ORR is authorized to appoint a Replacement Designee to administer the provision of assistance and services to ORR-served populations when a state withdraws from the refugee resettlement program. HHS worked with Texas resettlement organizations and the state of Texas to identify Replacement Designees to initially administer services, until a later time when proposals and applications will be considered under the Wilson/Fish Program.

Kenneth Tota
Acting Director
Office of Refugee Resettlement

Current as of: