A report indicating that three times as many refugees have settled in Los Angeles County this year as in past years has prompted the Board of Supervisors to seek $7.2 million from the state to aid and train political refugees.
The grants would be aimed at getting refugees off welfare rolls by providing job training and placement as well as English-language instruction for about 5,000 of them.
Authors of a county Community and Senior Citizens Services report estimated that as many as 200,000 refugees live in Los Angeles County--the biggest number of any county in the United States.
About 60% of the new arrivals are from Soviet Armenia and are settling in Glendale and Hollywood, the report said.
It said state law requires refugees who have been in the country for two years or less and are receiving public assistance to participate in the state-funded programs.
More than 71,000 refugees in the county were on welfare as of last December, according to the county Department of Public Social Services.