Kelly, Sinema Urge Allocation of Additional Border Funds to Arizona

Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, and CBP Acting Commissioner Troy A. Miller urging them to immediately allocate additional Shelter and Services Program (SSP) funds passed by Congress to border communities as Arizona faces a crisis, which has been made worse after CBP closed the Lukeville Port of Entry. 

In the letter, the Senators highlighted the essential role of Arizona nonprofits and local governments to help authorities manage the crisis and how they have not been prioritized when previous SSP funds were allocated. 

“In the last few months, there has been a sharp increase in the number of migrants arriving at the Arizona-Mexico border via the Border Patrol Tucson Sector in the Lukeville, Arizona area, overwhelming Border Patrol’s ability to manage the surge,” the Senators said. 

Kelly’s and Sinema’s urgent call to action comes from the projections of counties such as Pima, Maricopa, and Yuma that anticipate they will be unable to provide services starting early next year due to insufficient funding. 

“We urge your agencies to take immediate steps to allocate additional SSP funding to the border communities that need it most—as Congress intended—to keep our communities and migrants safe. We call for your swift action to avoid the disruption of humanitarian services that would only worsen the unmitigated disaster on the border,” the Senators wrote, requesting an update no later than December 22, 2023. 

See full letter here