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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 1452 - Refugee Assistance Extension Act of 1985

June 06, 1985


(Mazzoli (D) Kentucky)

The Administration supports a 2-year extension of the authority for domestic assistance to refugees, which H.R. 1452 would

provide, but urges that the bill be amended to address the following major concerns:

— a single authorization of $316,587,000 should be provided for fiscal year 1986 and "such sums" for 1987 instead of the multiple excessive authorizations in H.R. 1452. (Section 2 of H.R. 2286 contains the recommended language.)

— the authorization for and amendments to the targeted assistance program (in sections 2 and 8) should be deleted because the program's purpose, related to certain refugees who arrived in 1980-82, has already been accomplished.

— section 3 of the bill should be deleted because it (a) inappropriately places HHS' Office of Refugee Resettlement 1" the Office of the Secretary, necessitating establishment of duplicative administrative, budgetary, fiscal, personnel, and other support services, and (b) transfers authority for refugee education assistance from HHS to the Department of Education. These organizational changes would inhibit the efficient operation of the program.

— section 5 should be amended to require that each resettlement agency meet the basic subsistence needs of each refugee it resettles during the first 90 days in this country, during which time the refugee would be ineligible for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) or cash assistance under the refugee program, to avoid having them become dependent on welfare. (Section 3 of H.R. 2286 contains the recommended language.)

— section 5(a) should be deleted since an annual GAO audit of each voluntary agency grant or contract is unnecessary.

— section 6 should be deleted because it would base fund allocations on a State's population of refugees who have been in this country since April 1975, many of whom have become self-sufficient, and it would also limit program flexibility.

— the provisions in section 9 mandating one-year of medical assistance for all refugees regardless of need should be deleted; this requirement is inequitable with regard to U.S. citizens and is also costly.

Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 1452 - Refugee Assistance Extension Act of 1985 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project