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Office of Refugee Resettlement
Fact Sheet


Since 1975, the U.S. has resettled approximately 2.6 million refugees.

In order to be designated a refugee, people must have a well-founded fear of persecution in their country of origin because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Refugees legally enter the United States in search of freedom, peace, and opportunity for themselves and their families.

Persons are admitted as refugees after they are granted status by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration at the U.S. Department of State and by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


Founded on the belief that newly arriving populations have inherent capabilities when given opportunities, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) provides people in need with critical resources to assist them in becoming integrated members of American society.


The Office of Refugee Resettlement provides assistance to refugees and other eligible persons through its various programs and grants, so that they can achieve self-sufficiency and integration within the shortest time period after arriving in the United States.


The Office of Refugee Resettlement is comprised of five divisions and one major program area, which are described below:

Division of Refugee Assistance

The Division of Refugee Assistance (DRA) was created to monitor and provide technical assistance to State-administered and State-alternative programs. DRA develops guidance and procedures for program implementation, manages special initiatives to increase refugee self-sufficiency, such as demonstration or pilot programs, and manages the unaccompanied minors program to ensure that refugee and entrant unaccompanied minors are provided with appropriate care and services.

Division of Community Resettlement

The Division of Community Resettlement (DCR) administers ORR’s discretionary (competitive) grant programs. DCR provides assistance through public and private non-profit agencies to support the economic and social integration of refugees. Major programs include the Matching Grant Program, Services for Survivors of Torture program, the Wilson/Fish Program, Refugee Rural Initiative, Microenterprise, and Preferred Communities.

Division of Budget, Policy & Analysis

The Division of Budget, Policy, and Data Analysis (DBPDA) is responsible for the allocation and tracking of funds for refugee cash and medical assistance, as well as State administrative costs; forecasting and executing ORR’s annual budget; developing regulations and legislative proposals; and routinely interpreting policy. DBPDA is also responsible for the preparation of the ORR Annual Report to Congress, the ORR Refugee Arrivals Data System, and the Refugee Healthy Marriage grant program.

Division of Unaccompanied Children’s Services

The Division of Unaccompanied Children’s Services (DUCS) recognizes the importance of providing a safe and appropriate environment for unaccompanied alien children during the interim period between the minor's transfer into ORR care and their release from custody or removal from the United States by the Department of Homeland Security. DUCS strives to provide the best care and placement of these unaccompanied alien children, who are in Federal custody by reason of their immigration status, while taking into account the unique nature of each child's situation in making placement, case management, and release decisions.

Anti-Trafficking in Persons

The Anti-Trafficking in Persons (ATIP) Division helps certify victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons, as defined by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, so that these individuals are eligible to receive federally funded benefits and services to the same extent as refugees, and can begin to rebuild their lives in the United States. The ATIP Division is also committed to promoting public awareness and assisting in the identification of trafficking victims by educating the public and persons likely to encounter victims, such as social service providers, public health officials, and legal organizations, as well as ethnic, faith-based, and community organizations.


The Office of Refugee Resettlement oversees the federal government’s U.S. Repatriation Program. This Program was established under the Social Security Act (“Assistance for U.S. Citizens Returned from Foreign Countries”), to provide temporary assistance to U.S. citizens and their dependents who have been identified by the Department of State (DOS) as having returned, or been brought from a foreign country to the U.S. because of destitution, illness, war, threat of war, or a similar crisis.

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