At-A-Glance

Patti Grogan
Director
850-717-4196
Fax: 850-413-9355

General Information

  • Refugee Services is 100% federally funded.
  • Largest refugee population in the nation - Based on state data, over the last 5 federal fiscal years (FFY2012-2016) 201,979 eligible refugees, entrants, asylees, parolees, and Certified Victims of Human Trafficking arrived to Florida. During the FFY 2016 a total of 62,223arrived. This includes federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) adjustments due to secondary migration from other states to Florida and from Florida to other states.
  • Resettlement of refugees is governed by federal law - Refugee Act of 1980, Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980, Regulated at 45 Code of Federal Regulations Part 400 and 401, 409.953, F.S. Admission to the U.S. of other categories of persons eligible for Refugee Services is also governed by Federal laws and policies.

Eligible Clients:

Eligibility for programs of Refugee Services is determined by federal law and includes the following:

  • Refugees are individuals who have been forced to flee their home country due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. Refugees are granted status before they arrive in the United States.
  • Advance Parolees is a term used to describe Cuban nationals who are granted advance permission to enter the United States through the parole authority of the Department of Homeland Security as agreed in the U.S. - Cuba Accords.
  • Cuban/Haitian Entrants is a term used to describe Cuban and Haitian nationals who enter the United States and are granted a parole upon entry, apply for asylum, or are in removal proceedings.
  • Asylees are persons already in the United States who, due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country, apply for and are granted asylum by asylum officers or immigration judges in the United States.
  • Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrants (SIV) are Iraqi and Afghani nationals who worked with the U.S. military and who were granted special immigrant status.
  • Certified Victims of Human Trafficking (VOT) are individuals from foreign countries who, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, have been forced to perform a commercial sex act, or have been subjected to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Florida's Refugee Arrival Population

Cuba is the country of origin of most refugee clients in Florida; however, Florida’s refugees come from 57 different home countries, including Haiti, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Iraq, Columbia, Burma and Afganistan.  Refugees resettle primarily in Miami-Dade County with significant populations in Hillsborough, Broward, Duval, Palm Beach, Orange, Pinellas, Lee and Collier Counties.

Florida's Arrival Population over Five Years

The following chart reflects clients entering Florida each federal fiscal year.  The Department’s website also includes data for the Refugee Services Program on additional clients accessing services tracked by their date of entry into the U.S.

Year

Refugees

Advance

Cuban/Haitian

Asylees

SIV

VOT

Total

Parolees

Entrants

2012

2,653

6,467

18,532

1,038

59

13

28,762

2013

3,884

6,474

18,233

834

32

4

29,461

2014

3,852

4,767

23,307

652

134

5

32,717

2015

2,709

5,801

39,671

464

158

13

48,816

2016

3,422

3,061

55,150

467

111

12

62,223

TOTAL

16,520

26,570

154,893

3,455

494

47

201,979

Services to Refugees:

  • Refugee Services currently manages over 45 refugee service provider with state agencies, local governments and community-based organizations. The Department of Health provides health screenings to ensure newly arrived refugee clients do not have communicable diseases and to identify health issues. AHCA provides payment for Refugee Medical Assistance services in accordance with Medicaid rules.
  • Benefits and services are provided as permitted under CFR 45 Part 400 and 401. Refugee clients who are eligible for TANF and Medicaid may apply for and receive those benefits. Those who are ineligible for those programs may apply for and receive Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) and Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA). In FFY 2016, more than 65,000 clients received RCA and RMA and more than 9,500 received TANF. RCA and RMA are limited to eight months of assistance after arrival in the U.S.
  • Refugee Services provided an estimated 111,208 unduplicated clients more than 275,959 services (employment, adult education, immigration related, etc.) and benefits (Refugee Medical and Cash Assistance, health screening and follow ups). In FFY 2016, Refugee Services provided English language classes to 17,970 clients, vocational training to 1,604, and child care to 1,136 clients. Refugee Services helped 14,878 refugee clients obtain unsubsidized employment, with 60% retaining jobs for at least 90 days in FFY 2016.

Services Include

  • Employment
  • Integration Assistance
  • Adult and Vocational Education including English language
  • Health
  • Employability/Legal
  • Youth
  • Child Care
  • Unaccompanied Refugee Minors
  • Interpreter and Translation
  • Comprehensive Refugee Services