April 12, 2024

Gallego Announces Over $54 Million in Funding to Support Arizona Border Communities

The funding comes from the newly released tranche of Shelter and Services Program dollars; Gallego pushed for and secured the funding to support Arizona’s border communities

New SSP tranche includes Gallego-proposed reforms to better support Arizona

WASHINGTONRep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-03) today announced $54,573,093 in funding from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Shelter and Services Program (SSP) to support Arizona’s border communities on the frontlines of the border crisis.

“Supporting Arizona’s border communities has been one of my top priorities in Congress. I’ve continuously fought to ensure Arizona gets the funds it needs to keep our communities safe,” said Rep. Gallego. “The funds announced today are needed to help our border communities manage the crisis at the border, and I won’t stop pushing the administration to prioritize Arizona.”

The breakdown of the $54,573,093 includes:

  • Pima County: $21,827,581
  • Maricopa County: $11,606,329
  • World Hunger Ecumenical Arizona Task-Force in Maricopa: $11,606,329
  • World Hunger Ecumenical Arizona Task-Force in Yuma: $9,532,854  

Gallego helped secure $650 million in SSP funding as part of the government funding package passed last month. He immediately called on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to swiftly disperse the funds and to prioritize Arizona border communities.

After close coordination with Arizona’s non-profits, border community leaders, and law enforcement officials, Rep. Gallego rolled out his plan to institute sweeping reforms to address the problems plaguing FEMA’s Shelter and Services Program (SSP) that has shortchanged Arizona’s border communities on the front line of the border crisis. Notably, the newest tranche of SSP funding includes a number of his reforms, including:

  • A-numbers: Addressing challenges with overly strict data reporting requirements that hindered border communities’ ability to receive reimbursements for eligible costs.
  • Reimbursement Caps: Removing caps on funding for non-congregate shelters and transportation- two of the areas with the most demand in Arizona.

Rep. Gallego recently held a press conference with Attorney General Kris Mayes and Sheriff David Hathaway, underscoring the need for federal action to address the Arizona border crisis. That same day, Rep. Gallego sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee leaders urging them to include more Shelter and Services Program funding, which provides critical support to Arizona border communities.

The press conference followed the failure to pass the bipartisan border deal in Congress after extremists in the House and Senate withdrew their support. The deal, supported by Rep. Gallego, included key priorities like funding for Arizona border communities, tools to help stop the fentanyl crisis, changes to how the U.S. handles asylum claims, and increased funding for border protection.

Prior to the end of Title 42 in May 2023 and after communicating with Arizona border leaders, Rep. Gallego sent four letters to Biden Administration officials and Congress requesting specific resources these communities need to reduce the burden on them and their residents.

In June, he sent an initial letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) arguing that border states like Arizona need more funding to address border crossings and provide services. He called the FEMA funding model “misguided.”

After a lackluster response from FEMA, he sent a second letter to Secretary of Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas directly, expressing his disagreement with the funding model.

Rep. Gallego also sent a letter to FEMA urging the Agency to fix a new documentation requirement that strains border communities and non-profits in Arizona, putting their funding at risk.

Following these letters, as well as a one-on-one call with Sec. Mayorkas, Rep. Gallego announced in September that he had secured over $2 million in emergency funding from the DHS to support Arizona’s border communities as they address an increase in migrant crossings.

In November, Rep. Gallego joined Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10) in sending a bipartisan letter to House Appropriations Committee leadership requesting that any FY 2024 supplemental appropriations include funding for critical programs to aid first responders in communities impacted by immigration.

In December, Rep. Gallego called on the Biden Administration to issue an emergency declaration for the Southwest Border to provide Arizona’s border communities and nonprofits the resources they need to humanely process the increased number of arrivals at the border. He also inquired about using National Guard facilities in Douglas, Arizona as emergency shelter for migrants.

Also in December, Rep. Gallego traveled across Arizona meeting with border community leaders. He met with local officials, farmers, and business owners in Yuma to discuss the impact the closing of the Lukeville Port of Entry had on their businesses and Arizona’s economy, and he visited Nogales, Bisbee, and Tucson to meet with local leaders, nonprofit officials, and representatives from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to discuss the impact of increased migration on Arizona’s border communities.