Compare Versions


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-1368 Social services for persons granted asylum.(2021-2022)



Current Version: 03/18/21 - Amended Assembly Compare Versions information image


AB1368:v98#DOCUMENT

Revised  April 08, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 18, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1368


Introduced by Assembly Member Calderon
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bauer-Kahan, Berman, Gabriel, and Levine)
(Coauthors: Senators Becker, Hertzberg, Hueso, and Wiener)

February 19, 2021


An act to amend Section 13279 add Chapter 5.9 (commencing with Section 13650) to Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public social services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1368, as amended, Calderon. Refugee social services. Social services for persons granted asylum.
Existing law requires the State Department of Social Services, after setting aside state administrative funds, to allocate federal funds for refugee social services programs to eligible counties and, in certain circumstances, to nonprofit organizations. Existing law requires funds distributed to counties pursuant to these provisions to be used by the county, pursuant to a plan developed by the county, a county administering refugee social services to designate an agency that is responsible for developing and implementing a plan for the refugee social services. Existing law requires the plan to provide services to refugees that lead to their successful self-sufficiency and social integration. Existing law requires counties to make refugee social services available to recipients of refugee cash assistance and refugees receiving county general assistance in eligible counties.

This bill would make a technical, nonsubstantive change to that provision.

This bill would establish the Enhanced Services Program for Asylees to provide resettlement services for persons granted political asylum to live in the state by the United States Attorney General. The bill would authorize an agency that has been designated by a county to implement social services for refugees, as described above, to provide social services for persons granted asylum. The bill would require the program to provide culturally specific and responsive case management services, as specified, for persons newly granted asylum for up to 90 days. The bill would require the program to aim to have similar reintegration success rates for persons granted asylum as for refugees receiving social services. The bill would require an agency providing services under the program to notify the department each time a person applies for services and would require the department to provide funding to the agency for services for that person at the time the person is admitted to the program. Under the bill, the program would be implemented only to the extent that funds are appropriated for the program in the Budget Act of 2021.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Migrants, asylees, and refugees are important to the fabric of our society.
(b) Refugees and asylees, regardless of their legal distinctions, face many of the same challenges integrating into the state and are often living in the same communities.
(c) Refugees and asylees are granted different services due to the legal distinction of when they were identified, with refugees often being identified in the country of origin and asylees in the country of arrival.
(d) Between 2017 and 2019, the number of applicants granted asylum increased from 26,199 applicants to 46,508 applicants, representing a 56 percent increase. In 2019 alone, California was the settlement state for 34 percent of all new asylees, which was the highest rate of all states.
(e) Research indicates that while individuals granted asylum in this state are given eligibility to a wide range of benefits, most asylees do not get these benefits due to the lack of case management services and assistance in navigating the social safety net and health care systems.
(f) Studies show that with proper case management support, refugees have not only been able to secure the benefits for which they are eligible, but also find employment within six months of arriving to this state and bring immense contributions to the economy.
(g) Further research indicates that if states spend money on case management services for asylees in the early stages of resettlement, they save money in the long term due to increased self-sufficiency by newly settled migrants and increased eligibility for federal funding.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 5.9 (commencing with Section 13650) is added to Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  5.9. Enhanced Services Program for Asylees

13650.
 (a) The Enhanced Services Program for Asylees (ESPA) is hereby established to provide resettlement services for persons granted political asylum to live in this state by the United States Attorney General pursuant to Section 1158 of Title 8 of the United States Code.
(b) An agency that has been designated by a county to implement social services for refugees pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 13277 may provide social services under this chapter for persons granted asylum.

13651.
 (a) The program shall provide culturally specific and responsive case management services for persons newly granted asylum for up to 90 days.
(b) Case management services under the program shall include assistance in identifying and applying for all benefits to which the person is legally entitled, cultural orientation and integration programs, support in accessing and navigating the health care system, community connection and relationship building, English language instruction, and employment training and job placement assistance.
(c) The program shall aim to have similar reintegration success rates for persons granted asylum as for refugees receiving services under Chapter 5.5 (commending with Section 13275).
(d) An agency providing services under the program shall notify the department each time a person applies for services under the program and the department shall provide funding to the agency for services for that person at the time the person is admitted to the program.

13652.
 This chapter shall be implemented only to the extent that funds are appropriated for this purpose in the Budget Act of 2021.

SECTION 1.Section 13279 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
13279.

Refugee social services programs shall be available to recipients of refugee cash assistance and refugees receiving county general assistance in eligible counties. If a county does not provide these services under the program authorized under Article 3.2 (commencing with Section 11320) of Chapter 2, a portion of the funds allocated to the county in accordance with Section 13276 may be used to provide services to recipients of refugee cash assistance and refugee recipients of general assistance based on federal requirements and service needs, as outlined in the county plan developed pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 13277.

___________________


REVISIONS:
Heading—Line 2.
___________________