The Texas Office of Immigration and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) was established in 1992 during the 72nd legislative session. In 2003, OIRA’s refugee assistance programs were transferred to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).
All of the programs receive 100 percent of their funding from the Federal Government. OIRA administers the following major programs:
- Refugee Cash Assistance provides monthly cash payments to refugees;
- Refugee Medical Assistance provides health screenings, and payments for hospital services and other medical expenses.
- Refugee Social Services assists refugees in securing employment, learning English, and adjusting to a new culture in order to become self sufficient.
The monitoring and evaluation of refugee assistance programs over the past several years revealed the need to reorganize the existing programs into a statewide network. The network would integrate the widely dispersed organizations throughout Texas into a programs-information source for the purpose of providing more collaboration and cohesion in the delivery of services.
In 2004, the Texas Consortia of Refugee Providers (T-CORP) was established as the network to promote an improved services delivery plan for refugees through the development of advisement strategies, information sharing, and the promotion of Best Practices policies.
Members of T-CORP collaborate closely to gain a better understanding of refugee cultures and traditions in order to provide them with improved services that assist them in more easily integrating into our communities.