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March 11th, 2024
Rep. Grijalva Joins Request for $3 Billion Funding Boost for Shelter and Services Program

WASHINGTON– Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07) joined Reps. Lori Trahan (MA-03). Diana DeGette (CO-01), and other House members requesting $3 billion in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Shelter and Services Program (SSP) that provides funding to states to and municipalities to support migrant arrivals.

“Local communities across the country have stepped up to provide humanitarian support to those in need. In Woburn, Massachusetts local community leaders and school teachers worked to clothe and feed migrants. In Denver, one neighborhood Facebook mom’s group has grown to multiple parts of the city, helping migrant families with everything from clothing and food to transportation to various meetings and appointments. In Chicago, volunteers ensured that over 100 migrants were rehoused before their shelter closed down,” the lawmakers wrote. “However, without additional federal resources these communities and so many others can only do so much. There is a resounding need from cities and towns across the country for increased federal support to provide migrants with short term humanitarian services.”

The request sent pointed to the immigration court backlog, which can force some migrants to wait up to six years for an initial hearing, as well as the 150-day work moratorium that has forced state and local governments to provide shelter and support services that can total tens of millions of dollars per month. The request sent today to House appropriators expressed the urgency in allocating a total of $3 billion in federal funding for the SSP program for Fiscal Year 2024 to get desperately needed federal funds surged to states experiencing surges in migrant arrivals.

“Multiple bipartisan groups of lawmakers have worked toward immigration compromises, including the recently unveiled national security supplemental negotiated by Senate Democrats and Republicans,” the lawmakers continued. “However, the bipartisan Senate deal has already been discarded and House Republican leadership has not expressed intent to bring bipartisan immigration reform to the floor before the election. Congressional gridlock on immigration reform has exacerbated the need for SSP dollars to support affected cities and towns.”

Rep. Grijalva has urged President Biden to send resources to Arizona on several occasions, including in a December 2023 letter following the closure of the Lukeville Port-of-Entry. With Pima County expected to run out of money to help migrants, securing this funding is a top priority for his constituency.

Additional Members who signed the letter include Representatives James P. McGovern (MA-02), Dan Goldman (NY-10), Jason Crow (CO-06), William R. Keating (MA-09), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04), Andrea Salinas (OR-06), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Sean Casten (IL-06), Jonathan L. Jackson (IL-01), and Robert J. Menendez (NJ-08).

A copy of the letter can be found HERE.

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