REFUGEES AND RESETTLEMENT: A QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS OF REFUGEE INTEGRATION THROUGH SOCIAL & SUPPORT SERVICES
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation studies refugee resettlement in the United States utilizing the Integration Indicator’s framework developed by Ager and Strang for the U.S. context. The study highlights the U.S. refugee admissions program and the policies in the states of Maryland and Massachusetts while analyzing the service delivery models and its effects on refugee integration in these locations. Though immigration policy and funding for refugee services are primarily the domain of the federal government, funds are allocated through and services are delivered at the state level. The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which operates under the Department of Health and Human Services, was established after the Refugee Act of 1980 to deliver assistance to displaced persons. The ORR provides funds to individual states primarily through The Refugee Social Service and Targeted Assistance Formula Grant programs. Since the inauguration of the ORR three primary models of refugee integration through service delivery have emerged. Two of the models include the publicly/privately administered programs, where resources are allocated to the state in conjunction with private voluntary agencies; and the Wilson/Fish Alternative programs, where states sub-contract all elements of the resettlement program to voluntary agencies and private organizations —in which they can cease all state level participation and voluntary agencies or private organizations contract directly from the ORR in order for all states to deliver refugee services where the live. The specific goals of this program are early employment and economic self-sufficiency. This project utilizes US Census, state, and ORR data in conjunction with interviews of refugee resettlement practitioners involved in the service delivery and refugees. The findings show that delivery models emphasizing job training, English instruction courses, institutional collaboration, and monetary assistance, increases refugee acclimation and adaptation, providing insight into their potential for integration into the United States.