June 04, 2024

Gallego Statement on Biden Border Executive Order

WASHINGTON – Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-03) released the following statement in response to the border executive order announced by President Joe Biden today.

“We have to do more to address the crisis at Arizona’s border, especially in the wake of politicians putting partisan games ahead of finding solutions by once again blocking the bipartisan border deal in the Senate. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, but we still have more work to do. We also need to hire more border patrol agents, fix our broken asylum system, and keep our communities safe – solutions put forward in the legislation I introduced just weeks ago. That’s what Arizonans deserve. I encourage all of my peers who are serious about securing our border to support my bills today.”

Background On Rep. Gallego’s Wins To Support Arizona’s Border Communities:

Following numerous letters urging FEMA and the Biden Administration to deliver Arizona’s frontline border communities essential resources to deal with the border crisis, 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.

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 failed Shelter and Services Program (SSP) that has shortchanged Arizona’s border communities on the front line of the border crisis.

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.

To stop the flow of fentanyl across the border, Rep. Gallego introduced the Buck Stops Here Act to authorize the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to designate financial institutions, transaction classes, or accounts as primary money laundering concerns in connection to illicit fentanyl trafficking. This bill was signed into law in April.

In April, Rep. Gallego announced $54,573,093 in funding from SSP to support Arizona’s border communities on the frontlines of the border crisis. Rep. Gallego helped secure $650 million in SSP funding as part of the fiscal year 2024 government funding package. He immediately called on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to swiftly disperse the funds and to prioritize Arizona border communities.

In May, Rep. Gallego introduced the Direct Hire Act and the Screening Efficiency Act, both aimed at speeding up migrant processing and providing relief to Arizona’s frontline border communities.