Domestic Resettlement of Indochinese Refugees:

Struggle for Self-Reliance

HRD-77-35: Published: May 10, 1977. Publicly Released: May 10, 1977.

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Attention is directed toward the resettlement phase of the Indochinese refugee program, which includes the placement of refugees with sponsors and their initial steps toward integration into American society.

The Department of State contracted with 9 professional voluntary agencies and 10 State and local organizations to process Indochina refugees through U.S. reception centers, the final goal being resettlement. Confusion and misunderstanding, especially concerning resettlement fees, resulted from the broad contracts between the Department and the agencies. Once resettled, many refugees went on the welfare rolls.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: Because voluntary agencies have traditionally been used to resettle refugees in emergency situations, the State Department should provide, in future contractual arrangements with voluntary agencies, for: a definition of the term "resettlement"; the return of unused resettlement funds at the completion of the program, when this is the intent of the Government; uniform transitional allowances to meet refugees' initial resettlement expenses; a specific resettlement fee arrangement for voluntary agencies when friends and relatives sponsor refugees and when refugees merely register with the agencies; and specific reporting requirements until programs are completed. Enactment of legislation which would not deny permanent-resident alien status to Indochinese refugees on public assistance would help facilitate the adjustment of these refugees into American society and ultimately lead the way to U.S. citizenship.

    Agency Affected:


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