Refugee Resettlement:

Federal Support to the States Has Declined

HRD-91-51: Published: Dec 21, 1990. Publicly Released: Dec 21, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the effect of declining federal refugee resettlement assistance to states on California and other states with large refugee populations, focusing on state and local government ability to help refugees become self-sufficient.

GAO found that: (1) the federal government has significantly reduced its cash and medical refugee assistance to states since 1985 and has also cut social services and targeted assistance to states; (2) states resettling refugees spent an estimated $85 million in fiscal year (FY) 1990 for cash and medical assistance; (3) California spent about $37.6 million, the largest share, in FY 1990; (4) in California, social services funds decreased 42 percent, and 80 percent for targeted assistance; and (5) in California, the reduction in federal funding caused the percentage of refugees receiving cash assistance and the refugee welfare dependency rate to increase.

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