Quick Facts

Quick Facts

Director: Hiram A. Ruiz
Phone: (786) 257-5189
Fax: 305-377-5399
E-mail: Hiram.Ruiz@myflfamilies.com

General Information:

  • 100% federally funded.
  • Largest refugee population in the nation - Based on state data, over the last 5 federal fiscal years (FFY 2009-2013) 140,256 eligible refugees, entrants, asylees, parolees, and Certified Victims of Human Trafficking arrived to Florida.  During the second quarter of FFY 2014 an additional 14,875 arrived.  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 Population
Cuba is the country of origin of most refugee clients in Florida; however, Florida’s refugees come from 97 different home countries, including Haiti, Iraq, Burma, Venezuela, Egypt, Colombia, and Sudan.  Refugees resettle primarily in Miami-Dade County with significant populations in Hillsborough, Broward, Duval, Palm Beach, Orange, Pinellas, and Collier Counties.

Florida's 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.

*FFY 2014 (October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014)
Year Refugees Advance
Asylees SIV VOT Total
2009 5,376 9,726 10,450 2,038 16 13 27,619
2010 4,757 6,974 14,072 1,331 56 20 27,210
2011 3,332 7,776 14,736 1,329 21 10 27,204
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
5 Yr. TOTALS 20,002 37,417 76,023 6,570 184 60 140,256
2014* 1,944 2,558 10,059 236 76 2 14,875
TOTAL 21,946 39,975 85,992 6,806 260 62 155,041

Services to Refugees:

  • Refugee Services currently manages 61 refugee service provider contracts and funds refugee cash assistance totaling approximately $88,966,423 (SFY 2013-14 operating budget) in federal aid to eligible clients.  Refugee Services programs are provided through contracts with local governments and community based organizations in communities where large refugee populations are located.
  • Refugee Services provided an estimated 71,214 unduplicated clients more than 150,000 services and benefits in FFY 2013, including English language classes to 14,047 clients, vocational training to 1,960, and child care to 1,058 clients.  Refugee Services helped 8,930 refugee clients obtain unsubsidized employment, with 64% retaining jobs for at least 90 days in FFY 2013.


Services Include
Employment Integration Assistance
Adult Education including English language Primary Health Care (Miami-Dade)
Employability/Legal Youth and Family Services
Child Care Epilepsy Case Management
Crime Prevention Unaccompanied Refugee Minors


Refugee Cash Assistance      $21,010,165                      
Local Services                        $64,742,633
Repatriated  Americans              $40,380                      
Administrative                          $3,173,245
Total                                         $88,966,423