Senator Wiener’s Bill To Expand Case Management For Refugees Passes Senate Human Services Committee

April 25, 2023

SACRAMENTO – The Senate Human Services Committee passed Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) bill SB 85, which expands case management for refugees and asylees in line with programs in other states. SB 85 passed 5-0 and heads next to the Appropriations Committee. 

“California prides itself on welcoming refugees, and we need to do more to give them the support they need to succeed,” said Senator Wiener. “Case management is essential to extending access to culturally competent healthcare, housing, and jobs to refugees and asylees. Other states provide case management up to 2 years, and California can continue to lead with its values by extending our case management offering too.”

Case management is an intervention proven to improve outcomes for asylees and refugees.  Reliance on public health insurance in cities without any form of extended case management was shown to be double that of cities with extensions, according to the International Rescue Committee. 

Under federal law, refugees and asylees are entitled to 90 days of case management. As this is frequently not enough time for these groups to become established, SB 85 would extend the 90 days to 180 days, expanding Refugee Social Services and the Enhanced Services for Asylees and Vulnerable Noncitizens (ESAVN) program to cover an additional 90 days of case management. In extreme situations, these 180 days would be supplemented by an additional period of up to 180 days. The definition of extreme need would be defined by the California Department of Social Services.

SB 85 is accompanied by a budget ask led by the California Jewish Legislative Caucus and Senator Scott Wiener.

SB 85 is sponsored by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), the California Welcomes Coalition, the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC), and HIAS (originally the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society). Read more about SB 85 here.