Kelly, Sinema, Heinrich, Padilla, Luján, Feinstein: Administration Disregarded Congressional Intent, Underfunded Border Communities While Rewarding East Coast Cities
The Shelter and Services Program was authorized by Congress to support Customs and Border Protection manage migrant processing and prevent the overcrowding of short term CBP facilities
Border communities – who bear the brunt of CBP decompression activity and who Congress intended to receive the bulk of Shelter and Services funding – received far less funding than East Coast cities such as New York City
Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly and U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M), and Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) issued a statement criticizing the Biden Administration for failing Southwest border communities by underfunding them through the Shelter and Services Program, which was specifically authorized by Congress to assist border communities that are directly affected by the border crisis. Instead of providing communities along the border with critical funding for shelter, transportation, and emergency services, the Administration awarded East Coast cities, such as New York City, over $100 million, subverting the will of Congress.
“Border communities across our states are on the front lines of the border crisis, and we worked hard to secure critical resources to help them increase shelter capacity, emergency services, and transportation to alleviate the strain they face every day. The Biden Administration shortchanged border communities when they need support the most. Instead of prioritizing Shelter and Services Program funding to border communities as primarily intended by Congress, they’ve awarded New York City over $100 million without transparency or oversight of how funding levels were determined. This failure puts the future of this program at risk and hurts our communities’ abilities to secure the border, keep communities safe, and ensure the fair and humane treatment of migrants.”
Kelly, Sinema, Heinrich, Padilla, Luján, and Feinstein helped secure $800 million for the Shelter and Services Program to help border communities navigate the border and immigration crisis. The Joint Committee Report for FY23 Appropriations explicitly states: “The agreement provides $800,000,000 for a Shelter and Services Program (SSP) to support CBP in effectively managing noncitizen processing and preventing the overcrowding of short-term CBP holding facilities.” This program was originally created in 2019 through language from Heinrich and Cornyn’s Emergency Appropriations by Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act.
Arizona received approximately $45.4 million in the first funding round, and is anticipated to receive $23.9 million in the second allocation. California received $44 million in the first funding round, and has reportedly received $15 million in this allocation. New Mexico received approximately $29 million in the first funding round, and is expected to receive more in the second allocation. In comparison, New York City received about $30 million in the first round, and will receive $104.6 million in the second allocation. New York’s allocation constitutes about a third of the total funding in the second allocation.