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Notice

Proposed Notice of Allocations to States of FY 2004 Funds for Refugee Social Services

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), ACF, HHS.

ACTION:

Proposed notice of allocations to States of FY 2004 funds for refugee social services.

[CFDA No.: 93.566, Refugee Assistance—State Administered Programs]

SUMMARY:

This notice establishes the proposed allocations to States of FY 2004 funds for refugee [1] social services under the Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP). In the final notice, amounts may be adjusted based upon final adjustments to FY 2002 and FY 2003 data in some States.

DATES:

Comments on this Notice must be received by April 19, 2004.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kathy Do, Division of Budget, Policy, and Data Analysis (BPDA), telephone: (202) 401-4579, e-mail: kdo@acf.hhs.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Amounts for Allocation

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has available $152,217,586 in FY 2004 refugee social service funds. See Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004, Pub. L. 108-199. This amount reflects a recission of 0.59 percent applied across the board to all line items.

The FY 2004 Conference Report (H.R. Rept. No. 108-401) reads as follows with respect to social service funds:

The conference agreement appropriates $450,276,000 rather than the $461,853,000 as proposed by H.R. 2660 and $428,056,000 as proposed by the Senate. Within this amount, $153,121,000 is provided for social services as proposed in H.R. 2660. The Senate bill included $140,000,000 for this purpose.

The agreement also includes $19,000,000 for increased support to communities with large concentrations of Cuban and Haitian refugees of varying ages whose cultural differences make assimilation especially difficult justifying a more intense level and longer duration of Federal assistance for healthcare and education.

The conferees recognize the importance of continued educational support to schools with a significant proportion of refugee children, consistent with previous support to schools heavily impacted by large concentrations of refugees, and urge the Office of Refugee Resettlement to support these efforts should funding become available in the social services or other programs.

ORR intends to use the $ 152,217,586 appropriated for FY 2004 social services as follows:

  • Approximately $79,000,000 will be allocated under the 3-year population formula, as set forth in this notice for the purpose of providing employment services and other needed services to refugees.
  • Approximately $14,000,000 is expected to be awarded as new and continuation social service discretionary grants under new and prior year competitive grant announcements issued separately from this proposed notice.
  • Approximately $19,000,000 is expected to be awarded to serve communities most heavily affected by recent Cuban and Haitian entrant and refugee arrivals. These funds will be awarded under a prior year separate announcement.
  • Approximately $28,000,000 is expected to be awarded through discretionary grants for continuation of awards made in prior years.
  • Up to $15,000,000 will be utilized to continue the awards for educational support to schools with a significant proportion of refugee children, consistent with previous support to schools heavily impacted by large concentrations of refugees. Of this amount, up to $6,500,000 in prior year funds may be used to augment the current budget authority of $8,500,000.
  • Approximately $2,000,000 is expected to be awarded through contracts for an evaluation of the effectiveness of ORR's employment programs.

Refugee Social Service Funds

The FY 2004 population figures that have been used for this proposed formula social services allocation include refugees, Amerasians from Viet Nam, Cuban/Haitian entrants, Havana parolees, and victims of severe forms of trafficking. These population figures will be adjusted in the final allocation to reflect more accurate information on arrivals in 2003, secondary migration (including that of victims of severe forms of trafficking) and asylee data submitted by States. (See Section IV. Basis of Population Estimates).

The Director proposes allocating $79,728,843 to States on the basis of each State's proportion of the national population of refugees who have been in the U.S. three years or less as of October 1, 2003 (including a floor amount for States that have small refugee populations). Of the amount proposed to be awarded, approximately $6 million is expected to be awarded to Wilson/Fish Alternative Projects providing social services.

The use of the 3-year population base in the allocation formula is required by section 412(c)(1)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) which states that “funds available for a fiscal year for grants and contracts [for social services] * * * shall be allocated among the States based on the total number of refugees (including children and adults) who arrived in the United States not more than 36 months before the beginning of such fiscal year and who are actually residing in each State (taking into account secondary migration) as of the beginning of the fiscal year.”

As established in the FY 1992 social services notice published in the Federal Register on August 29, 1991, section I, “Allocation Amounts” (56 FR 42745), a variable floor amount for States which have small refugee populations is calculated as follows: If the application of the regular allocation formula yields less than $100,000, then —

(1) a base amount of $75,000 is provided for a State with a population of 50 or fewer refugees who have been in the U.S. 3 years or less; and

(2) for a State with more than 50 refugees who have been in the U.S. 3 years or less: (a) a floor has been calculated consisting of $50,000 plus Start Printed Page 13057the regular per capita allocation for refugees above 50 up to a total of $100,000 (in other words, the maximum under the floor formula is $100,000); (b) if this calculation has yielded less than $75,000, a base amount of $75,000 is provided for the State.

Population To Be Served and Allowable Services

Eligibility for refugee social services includes persons who meet all requirements of 45 CFR 400.43 (see Footnote 1 on page 1 for service populations). In addition, persons granted asylum are eligible for refugee benefits and services from the date that asylum was granted (See ORR State Letter No. 00-12, effective June 15, 2000). Victims of a severe form of trafficking who have received a certification or eligibility letter from ORR are eligible from the date on the certification letter (See ORR State Letter No. 01-13, May 3, 2001, as modified by ORR State Letter No. 02-01, January 4, 2002). Certain family members who are accompanying or following to join victims of severe forms of trafficking also are eligible for ORR-funded benefits and services. See 22 U.S.C. 7105(b)(1)(A), as amended by section 4(a)(2)(A) of the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003,” Pub. L. 108-193. These individuals have been granted nonimmigrant visas under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(T)(ii). This visa can be granted to the spouse, children and parents of a victim of a severe form of trafficking who is under 21 years of age or to the spouse and children of a victim of a severe form of trafficking who is 21 or older.

Services to refugees must be provided in accordance with the rules of 45 CFR part 400 subpart I—Refugee Social Services. Although the allocation formula is based on the 3-year refugee population, States may provide services to refugees who have been in the country up to 60 months (5 years), with the exception of referral and interpreter services and citizenship and naturalization preparation services for which there is no time limitation (45 CFR 400 152(b)).

Under waiver authority at 45 CFR 400.300, the Director of ORR may issue a waiver of the limitation on eligibility for social services contained in 45 CFR 400.152(b). There is no blanket waiver of this provision in effect for FY 2004. States may apply for a waiver of 45 CFR 400.152(b) in writing to the Director of ORR. Each waiver request will be reviewed based on supporting data and information provided. The Director of ORR will approve or disapprove each waiver request as expeditiously as possible.

A State must, however, have an approved State plan for the Cuban/Haitian Entrant Program or indicate in its refugee program State plan that Cuban/Haitian entrants will be served in order to use funds on behalf of entrants as well as refugees.

Allowable social services are those indicated in 45 CFR 400.154 and 400.155. Additional services not included in these sections that the State may wish to provide must be submitted to and approved by the Director of ORR as required under 45 CFR 400.155(h).

Service Priorities

In accordance with 45 CFR 400.147, States are required to provide social services to refugees in the following order of priority, except in certain individual extreme circumstances: (a) All newly arriving refugees during their first year in the U.S. who apply for services; (b) refugees who are receiving cash assistance; (c) unemployed refugees who are not receiving cash assistance; and (d) employed refugees in need of services to retain employment or to attain economic independence. In order for refugees to leave Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) quickly, States should, to the extent possible, ensure that all newly arriving refugees receive refugee-specific services designed to address the employment barriers that refugees typically face.

ORR encourages States to re-examine the range of services they currently offer to refugees. Those States that have had success in helping refugees achieve early employment may find it to be a good time to expand beyond the provision of basic employment services and address the broader needs that refugees have in order to enhance their ability to maintain financial security and to successfully integrate into the community. Other States may need to reassess the delivery of employment services in light of local economic conditions and develop new strategies to better serve the newly arriving refugee groups.

States should also be aware that ORR will make social services formula funds available to pay for social services that are provided to refugees who participate in Wilson/Fish projects which can be administered by public or private non-profit agencies, including refugee, faith-based and community organizations. Section 412(e)(7)(A) of the INA provides that:

The Secretary [of HHS] shall develop and implement alternative projects for refugees who have been in the United States less than thirty-six months, under which refugees are provided interim support, medical services, support [social] services, and case management, as needed, in a manner that encourages self-sufficiency, reduces welfare dependency, and fosters greater coordination among the resettlement agencies and service providers.

This provision is generally known as the Wilson/Fish Amendment. The Department has already issued a separate standing notice in the Federal Register with respect to applications for such projects (64 FR 19793 (April 22, 1999)).

States are encouraged to consider eligible sub-recipients for formula social service funds, including public or private non-profit agencies such as, refugee, faith-based, and community organizations.

II. (Reserved for Discussion in the Final Notice of Submitted Comments)

III. Allocation Formulas

Of the funds available for FY 2004 for social services, $79,728,843 is proposed to be allocated to States in accordance with the formula specified in A. below.

A. A State's allowable formula allocation is calculated as follows:

1. The total amount of funds determined by the Director to be available for this purpose; divided by—

2. The total number of refugees, Cuban/Haitian entrants, parolees, and Amerasians from Viet Nam, as shown by the ORR Refugee Arrivals Data System (RADS) for FY 2001-2002, Refugee Processing Center (RPC) data for FY 2003, and victims of severe forms of trafficking as shown by the certification and eligibility letters issued by ORR, who arrived in the United States not more than 3 years prior to the beginning of the fiscal year for which the funds are appropriated. This total will also include the total number of asylees who have been served by a State through its refugee resettlement or social services system in FYs 2001, 2002, and 2003. The resulting per capita amount is multiplied by—

3. The number of persons in item 2, above, in the State as of October 1, 2003, adjusted for estimated secondary migration.

The calculation above yields the formula allocation for each State. Minimum allocations for small States are taken into account.

IV. Basis of Population Estimates

The population estimates for the proposed allocation of funds in FY 2004 Start Printed Page 13058for the formula social service allocation are based on data on refugee arrivals from the ORR Refugee Arrivals Data System, adjusted as of September 30, 2003, for estimated secondary migration. The database includes refugees of all nationalities, Amerasians from Viet Nam, and Cuban and Haitian entrants. Data on trafficking victims are taken from the total number of trafficking victims' certification and eligibility letters issued by ORR.

For Fiscal Year 2004, ORR's proposed formula social service allocations for the States are based on the numbers of refugees, Amerasians, victims of a severe form of trafficking, entrants and Havana parolees. Refugee numbers are based upon the arrivals during the preceding fiscal years: 2001, 2002, and 2003. After consultation with the Refugee Processing Center (RPC), Department of State (DOS), ORR has decided to use the ORR-Refugee Arrivals Data System (ORR-RADS) database of arrival numbers for FYs 2001, 2002, and the RPC data for FY 2003 as the basis for the final FY 2004 social services allocations.

The proposed FY 2004 social services allocations may reflect adjustments in FY 2003 arrivals, secondary migration, victims of severe forms of trafficking, and asylees who have been served by the States in FYs 2001, 2002, and 2003 through its refugee resettlement program or social service system.

The data on secondary migration are based on data submitted by all participating States on Form ORR-11 on secondary migrants who have resided in the U.S. for 36 months or less, as of September 30, 2003. The total migration reported by each State was due to ORR on January 5, 2004. The total migration is summed by ORR, yielding in- and out-migration figures and a net migration figure for each State. The net migration figure is applied to the State's total arrival figure, resulting in a revised ORR population estimate.

ORR calculations are developed separately for refugees and entrants and then combined into a total final 3-year refugee/entrant population for each State. Eligible Amerasians are included in the refugee figures. Havana parolees (HP's) are enumerated in a separate column in Table 1, below, because they are tabulated separately from other entrants. Havana parolee arrivals for all States are based on actual data.

Table 1 (attached) shows the proposed 3-year populations, as of October 1, 2003, of refugees (col. 1), entrants (col. 2), Havana parolees (col. 3), victims of trafficking (col. 4), total population, (col. 5), the proposed formula amounts which the population yield (col. 6), and the proposed allocation by States (col. 7).

If a State does not agree with ORR's population estimate and wishes ORR to reconsider its numbers, it should submit written evidence to ORR, including a list of refugees identified by name, alien number, date of birth, and date of arrival. Listings of refugees who are not identified by their alien number will not be considered. Such evidence should be submitted separately from comments on the proposed allocation formula no later than 30 days from the date of publication of this Notice and should be sent via overnight mail to : Loren Bussert, Division of Budget, Policy and Data Analysis, Office of Refugee Resettlement, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington, DC 20447, Telephone: (202) 401-4732, or as an Excel spreadsheet or other compatible spreadsheet format as an email attachment to: lbussert@acf.hhs.gov

States which have served asylees during the past three years also may submit the following information in order to have their population estimate adjusted to include those asylees whose asylum was granted within the 36 month period ending September 30, 2003: (1) Alien number; (2) date of birth; and, (3) the date asylum was granted. States may submit data on persons who received asylum in their State as well as data on persons who received asylum elsewhere and who have migrated into their State. It is recommended that States not use Form ORR-11 to report the secondary migration of asylees.

ORR will credit States that have served victims of a severe form of trafficking during the past year with additional numbers as verified with ORR certification letters issued. A State which has served a victim of a severe form of trafficking who the State believes was residing in a different State at the time that the ORR certification/eligibility letter was issued, should submit the following information in order to have their population estimate adjusted to include these trafficking victims: (1) Alien number, if available; (2) date of birth; (3) certification letter number and, (4) date on the certification letter.

Please submit the above data on asylees and trafficking victims served on separate Excel spreadsheets as an email attachment within 30 days of the publication date of this announcement to: lbussert@acf.hhs.gov

V. Proposed Allocation Amounts

Funding subsequent to the publication of this notice will be contingent upon the submission and approval of a State annual services plan that is developed on the basis of a local consultative process, as required by 45 CFR 400.11(b)(2) in the ORR regulations.

Table 1, attached, represents the proposed allocation for refugee social services in FY 2004.

VI. Paperwork Reduction Act

This notice does not create any reporting or record keeping requirements requiring OMB clearance.

Start Signature

Dated: March 10, 2004.

Nguyen Van Hanh,

Director, Office of Refugee Resettlement.

End Signature

Table 1.—Estimated Three-Year Refugee/Entrant/Parolee/Trafficking Victim Populations of States Participating in the Refugee Resettlement Program and Estimated Social Service Formula Allocations for FY 2004 (Adjusted for Secondary Migration Based on the ORR-11)

[Proposed FY 2004 Social Services Formula Notice]

StateRefugees1EntrantsHavana parolees 2trafficking victims 3Total populationProposed formula amountProposed allocation
(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)
Alabama 4145018163$75,750$100,000
Alaska 4211007218101,310101,310
Arizona3,65935174,0171,866,8051,866,805
Arkansas51062,78875,000
California 419,09650698119,2968,967,3588,967,356
Colorado 41,9164951,934898,780898,780
Start Printed Page 13059
Connecticut2,21520192,2541,047,4931,047,493
Delaware1358014366,45693,220
Dist. of Columbia447311452210,056210,056
Florida7,33715,31123,5103046,18821,464,77221,464,772
Georgia4,802199744,9222,287,3822,287,382
Hawaii(11)00493817,66075,000
Idaho 41,0163011,020474,021474,021
Illinois3,918166964,0091,863,0871,863,087
Indiana84349856397,806397,806
Iowa1,898001,898882,050882,050
Kansas3323101346160,795160,795
Kentucky 41,6449241112,5801,198,9941,198,994
Louisiana3478923459213,309213,309
Maine84401845392,694392,694
Maryland1,98761992,021939,212939,212
Massachusetts 43,2571491033,4191,588,8991,588,899
Michigan3,3485413653,9301,826,3741,826,374
Minnesota6,8215446,8343,175,9393,175,939
Mississippi11244212256,69783,460
Missouri3,703241013,7381,737,1461,737,146
Montana36023817,66075,000
Nebraska97220974452,643452,643
Nevada 47235383541,300604,144604,144
New Hampshire963012966448,925448,925
New Jersey1,62029031272,2291,035,8751,035,875
New Mexico2142610475220,745220,745
New York10,2921,0121072511,4365,314,6095,314,609
North Carolina3,039164623,1031,442,0451,442,045
North Dakota 447000470218,421218,421
Ohio2,3073522,3171,076,7711,076,771
Oklahoma2150152268124,547124,547
Oregon2,63030612,9371,364,9011,364,901
Pennsylvania4,95235528265,3612,491,3972,491,397
Rhode Island47051476221,210221,210
South Carolina238013251116,646116,646
South Dakot a494000940436,843436,843
Tennessee1,4676361,509701,272701,272
Texas5,75790287916,8373,177,3333,177,333
Utah1,573501,578733,338733,338
Vermont41800418194,256194,256
Virginia3,10517238153,3301,547,5381,547,538
Washington10,844031110,8585,045,9975,045,997
West Virginia60062,78875,000
Wisconsin1,042451,051488,427488,427
Wyoming 5
Total124,32021,41224,657447170,83679,391,96479,728,843
1 Includes Amerasian immigrants.
2 For all years, Havana Parolee arrivals for all States are based on actual data.
3 Includes all victims of a severe form of trafficking since program inception in March, 2001.
4 The allocations for Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, and for San Diego County, California are expected to be awarded to Wilson/Fish projects.
5 Wyoming no longer participates in the Refugee Resettlement Program.
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Footnotes

1.  Eligibility for refugee social services include refugees, asylees, Cuban and Haitian entrants, certain Amerasians from Viet Nam who are admitted to the U.S. as immigrants, certain Amerasians from Viet Nam who are U.S. citizens, and victims of a severe form of trafficking who receive certification or eligibility letters from ORR. See 45 CFR 400.43 and ORR State Letter #01-13 on the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, dated May 3, 2001, as modified by ORR State Letter # 02-01, January 4, 2002.

Due to recent legislative changes, certain family members who are accompanying or following to join victims of severe forms of trafficking also are eligible for ORR-funded benefits and services. These individuals have been granted nonimmigrant visas under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(T)(ii).

The term “refugee,” used in this notice for convenience, is intended to encompass such additional persons who are eligible to participate in refugee program services.

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[FR Doc. 04-6203 Filed 3-18-04; 8:45 am]

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