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House Committee on the JudiciaryImmigration and Border SecurityHouse Committee on Foreign AffairsHouse Committee on Ways and MeansHuman ResourcesIntroducedFebruary 13th, 2013
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Strengthening Refugee Resettlement Act
To modify provisions of law relating to refugee resettlement, and for other purposes.
Strengthening Refugee Resettlement Act - Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to work with the heads of other relevant federal agencies to conduct a review of refugee processing with the goal of streamlining processing, consistent with maintaining security. Directs the Secretary of State (Secretary) to establish overseas refugee English language and work orientation training programs prior to the departure for the United States of refugees who have been approved for U.S. admission. Permits: (1) refugees (and their spouses and children) to be admitted to the United States as lawful permanent residents, and (2) asylum seekers (and their spouses and children) to be granted lawful permanent residency. Directs the Secretary when setting the amount of reception and placement grants to: (1) adjust the grant amount to account for anticipated initial refugee resettlement needs, and (2) ensure that funding is provided to national resettlement agencies at the beginning of the fiscal year. Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should appoint a White House Coordinator on Refugee Protection. Requires the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (Director) to make grants to national resettlement agencies to operate a case management system to assist individuals access eligible services, benefits, and assistance provided by the Office, federal, state, or local agencies, and private or nonprofit organizations. Requires the Office, subject to available appropriations, to provide refugees with a minimum of 12 months' assistance and social services for employment, health, and living expenses. Authorizes the Director to award grants to community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and resettlement agencies for programs to assist newcomers integrate into U.S. civic life. Expands eligibility for, and participation in, the refugee matching grant program (federal-private refugee assistance). Establishes a Domestic Emergency Refugee Resettlement Fund to meet unanticipated refugee resettlement needs. Makes SSI (supplemental security income) benefits available to qualified aliens, U-visa aliens (victim of criminal activity), or certain T-visa aliens (victims of trafficking in persons) who were ineligible for such benefits because of their failure to acquire citizenship within seven years. Makes a child who has been granted special immigrant status as a victim of criminal activity (U-visa) eligible for specified refugee benefits.