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Arizona senators urge Biden administration to allocate approved border funds to communities

YUMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema sent a letter to ask members of the Biden administration to "swiftly allocate" the $650 million they secured over the weekend for the Shelter and Services Program (SSP).

In a press release, the letter was written to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner Troy Miller.

The press release mentions that local governments and nonprofit organizations (NGO) dealing with the border crisis "had warned that they would run out of funds by March 31, affecting their capacity to keep legally processed asylum seekers off the streets."

"These border localities and NGO partners are on the frontlines of CBP’s decompression efforts, providing shelter space, transportation to shelters and transit hubs, and other critical services to ensure the health and safety of communities and asylum seekers. The SSP has become a lifeline to border communities facing the border crisis.

Between June and September 2023, FEMA announced three separate funding award allocations for the SSP. In that process, Arizona was severely shortchanged relative to the burden Arizona has faced.

The Department must now act quickly to allocate SSP funding to Arizona recipients, including Pima County, to avoid the disastrous outcome of a funding shortfall, which could lead to the release of legally processed asylum seekers onto the streets of Arizona border communities without support. In allocating the FY 2024 SSP funding, the Department must not once again fail Arizona communities."

Senators Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.)

To read the letter, click here.

Article Topic Follows: Arizona Politics

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