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One of the least understood elements of refugee resettlement in the United States is the organizational matrix through which states implement their policies. States, as sub-national governments in a federal structure, have incredible discretion during the implementation process for much of the federal policies and programs administered from Washington, D.C. Drawing on extensive interviews with 18 policy implementers in Georgia and California, I argue that a hierarchical model of policy implementation predicated on the leadership of the state refugee coordinator is key to understanding resettlement policy and administration.

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