Refugee Admissions and Resettlement Policy: Facts and Issues

Publication Date: December 1999

Publisher: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service


Research Area: Population and demographics



The refugee admissions ceiling for fiscal year 2000 is 90,000, with Europe accounting for more than half the numbers. P.L. 106-104 reauthorized the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS/ORR) program through FY2002. P.L. 106-113, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, appropriated $426.5 million for for (HHS/ORR) for FY2000. P.L. 106-113 also extended the so-called Lautenberg amendment for an additional year; and reenacted a version of the McCain amendment, relating to Vietnamese refugees, for 2 years. The principal refugee issue in 1999 was the emergency admission of Kosovar refugees, in what was probably the most significant test of the flexibility of the refugee provisions since their enactment in 1980. The United States has admitted 15,825 Kosovar Albanians from the refugee camps in Macedonia who had close family ties here or were particularly vulnerable. The State Department reports that 2,750 refugees have returned to Kosovo. P.L. 106-31, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, included $100 million for resettling Kosovar refugees in the United States, plus additional funds for transporting them here. This report will be updated to reflect legislative and other action.