Kelly, Sinema Urge Homeland Security Secretary to Avoid Migrant Street Releases by Ensuring Shelter and Services Program Works for Arizona
Senators remain concerned with Administration’s lack of preparations for Title 42’s permanent suspension
Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security urging Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to avoid migrant street releases by ensuring the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Shelter and Services Program (SSP) works for Arizona communities, which are already struggling to manage the border crisis.
In the Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations bill, Kelly and Sinema secured $800 million to create the new CBP SSP to help cover the costs incurred by local government agencies and non-governmental organizations in response to the influx of migrant encounters at the border.
“As the end of Title 42 approaches, it is imperative that the Department of Homeland Security designs this program in a way that keeps Arizona communities safe and secure, prevents street releases of migrants processed by the Department, and ensures migrants are treated fairly and humanely. We strongly urge you to ensure this program works for border communities and considers on-the-ground realities,” wrote the senators.
Kelly and Sinema requested that the Department of Homeland Security respond with details about the program by May 11, 2023 – the day Title 42 is set to expire. For more than a year, Sinema and Kelly have urged the Administration to implement a comprehensive plan to prepare for the anticipated surge of migrant encounters when Title 42 ends.
In their letter, the Senators detailed the challenges they heard from Arizona frontline border officials last week – including how in Pima County, the emergency management office cannot focus on the upcoming fire season because they must work with CBP on coordinated efforts to connect migrants with nongovernmental organizations in Tucson.
In order to avoid street releases into Arizona communities, the Senators directed the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize funding for border communities, advance funding to reimburse local governments and non-profits in a timely manner, ensure documentation requirements are reasonable, and more measures that will ensure families are protected and migrants are treated fairly and humanely.
Click HERE to read the Senators’ letter.