The Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services funds, manages and monitors contracts designed to: help newly arriving refugees achieve self-sufficiency in the United States; provide citizenship education and application services to resident non-citizens desiring to become United States citizens; and provide outreach and interpretation services to limited English proficient individuals requiring supportive services.

Refugee Social Service activities are authorized under the Refugee Act of 1980 (PL 96-212) as amended, and by the Refugee Assistance Extension Act of 1986 (PL 99-605) as amended. The Act enables the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Department of Health and Human Services, to reimburse state governments for the provision of refugee social services as specified in 45 CFR 400. The designated single state agency for administering such funds in Illinois is the Department of Human Services (IDHS).

Immigrant Services are authorized by the General Assembly as approved by the Governor and administered by IDHS. IDHS endeavors to enhance service access and quality for foreign born Limited English Proficient persons through a variety of initiatives.

Refugee Services are coordinated through an administrative contract with the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Immigrant Services are coordinated through an administrative contract with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and include the Immigrant Family Resource Program, the New Americans Initiative, and Uniting America.