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Annual ORR Reports to Congress - 2005: Appendix B: Federal Agency Reports

Published: May 7, 2014

Appendix B: Federal Agency Reports

Department of State

The United States leads the world in providing assistance to refugees and victims of conflict. The U.S. resettles about one-half of the refugees referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for resettlement each year. The Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM) has primary responsibility for formulating U.S. policies on these issues and for administering U.S. refugee assistance and admissions programs overseas.

Of the 53,813 refugees admitted to the U.S. in FY 2005, the largest number came from Africa (20,749) and East Asia (12,071).  As in previous years, the President authorized in-country processing in the former Soviet Union, Vietnam and Cuba for persons who would qualify as refugees if they live outside their country of origin.  In general, the U.S. offers resettlement to refugees outside their countries of origin who were deemed to be of "special humanitarian concern" to the U.S.  During FY 2005, a number of particularly vulnerable groups, including persecuted religious and ethnic minorities, were determined to be a special concern to the U.S. and processed.

Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) administers the immigration and naturalization laws relating to the interview, determination, admission and naturalization of refugees and asylees. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the DHS is responsible for the adjudication of refugee applications overseas, and USCIS officers make the final determination regarding an applicant’s eligibility for refugee resettlement in the U.S. In FY 2005, to supplement refugee adjudicators stationed permanently abroad, USCIS deployed 137 adjudications officers on temporary overseas assignments to conduct 66,000 refugee classification interviews in 88 different countries.

DHS is also responsible for the inspection and admission of approved refugees upon arrival in the U.S. and processes subsequent applications for refugees including adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident and naturalization. In FY 2005, 53,813 refugees from 86 countries were admitted to the United States.

In addition to processing refugees overseas, USCIS also adjudicates asylum applications filed by asylum seekers who are already present in the U.S. In FY 2005, USCIS asylum officers completed 116,469 cases, approving 9,903. The countries with the greatest number of asylum approvals were China, Haiti, Colombia, and Venezuela.

Information about USCIS and the processing of refugee and asylum cases can be found on the internet at http://www.uscis.gov.

Office of Global Health Affairs

The Mission of the Office of Global Health Affairs is to promote the health of the people of the world by advancing the Department of Health and Human Services' global strategies and partnerships, thus serving the health and well-being of the people of the United States.

Humanitarian and Refugee Health Affairs in the Office of Global Health Affairs (OGHA) is dedicated to promoting the health and well being of refugees resettled in the United States through the provision of technical assistance to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. OGHA accomplishes this goal through collaboration with Federal partners at the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others.

OGHA provides guidance on refugee health on the federal, state and local levels. OGHA provides technical assistance to States on providing health assessments to newly arrived refugees and briefs State refugee workers and Voluntary Agencies on emerging health conditions within refugee populations and common conditions that could be a hindrance to successful resettlement. Healthy refugees are better equipped to manage the stresses of resettlement in the United States. OGHA is working to ensure that medical care providers, refugees, refugee workers and state and local officials have the tools to promote refugee health within their communities and on the local and national levels.

For more information on the Office of Global Health Affairs, please see our website at www.globalhealth.gov.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Refugee Mental Health Program (RMHP) is located in the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Since 1995, through an Intra-Agency Agreement (IAA), ORR has funded the RMHP to provide refugee mental health consultation and technical assistance to Federal, State, or local agencies.  The IAA funds two fulltime public health advisors.

The objectives of the RMHP are to facilitate collaboration among refugee service providers and public and private mental health providers, organizations and systems, provide technical assistance and consultation on refugee mental and behavioral health and well-being, and respond to emergencies of refugee admissions and other unique refugee-related assignments from the Office of the Director, ORR, such as Kosovar refugees processed at Ft. Dix in 1999, refugees dislocated in U.S. by disasters, and populations with high prevalence of torture survivors.

Specific RMHP services and activities include:

In-site and distance consultation and technical assistance concerning issues related to health and well-being of refugees.

Refugee community assessments, program development and dissemination of technical assistance documents.

Workshops and training programs for resettlement staff and mainstream personnel.

Monitoring, technical assistance and evaluation of torture treatment centers.

Special missions as assigned by the Director, Office of Refugee Resettlement.

In FY 2005, RMHP played a lead role in the development and implementation of a national refugee health promotion and disease prevention initiative.  The initiative known as “Points of Wellness, Partnering for Refugee Health and Wellbeing” was established to help organizations to become involved with health promotion and disease prevention activities and programs within refugee communities.  To help meet the national objectives of Points of Wellness, a Refugee Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Toolkit was published for use by mutual assistance associations and other community & faith-based organizations.  The Toolkit is available to the general public at www.refugeewellbeing.samhsa.gov . Additionally, a listserv for sharing refugee health information and updates was established in FY 05.  The listserv may be accessed at http://list.nih.gov and browse for REFUGEEHEALTH-L.

 

Last Reviewed: June 24, 2019