Indochinese refugees usually apply to several resettlement countries for admission. Very different experiences await the migrants depending on which host state eventually grants them entry. Modes of state incorporation explain many of the macro-level differences in the adaptation of international migrants in host societies around the world. The welfare state is the central institution managing the refugees' adaptation because social citizenship for international migrants is inherently problematic for the American social welfare system. Federalism further hinders the development of social citizenship for international migrants. The admission of immigrants and refugees is a national decision, but social welfare assistance is predominately local. The structure of the welfare state and nation-state in the host society determines if international migrants encounter a social conflict or a social contract. In France, refugees' social networks confront a social contract. Refugees' traditions of self-help through kin and communal networks are a threat to both institutions in France.