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ORI’s mission is to promote the full participation of refugees and immigrants as self-sufficient individuals and families in the economic, social, and civic life of Massachusetts. Eligible groups include: Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa Holders, Amerasians, Asylees, Cuban/Haitian Entrants, Human Trafficking Victims, Legal Permanent Residents, and Refugees.
In 1985, the Massachusetts Office of Refugee Resettlement was designated by MA Executive Order to be responsible for refugee affairs in the state. In 1992, the state legislature established the Office for Refugees and Immigrants (ORI). The ORI Executive Director serves as the State Refugee Coordinator per the Refugee Act of 1980 and state law.
The Office administers programs that provide direct services to clients through a network of voluntary resettlement agencies, faith-based organizations and ethnic community-based organizations, which have the capacity to serve the culturally and linguistically diverse needs of newcomer populations.
ORI is funded primarily through the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) which supports services for refugees. ORI receives limited state funding which supports citizenship and employment services to refugees and immigrants residing in the Commonwealth.