May 10, 2024

Gallego Statement on DHS Proposed Rule to Streamline Asylum Processing

PHOENIX - Today, Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-03) released the following statement in response to the Department of Homeland Security’s new proposed rule aimed at streamlining asylum processing.

Statement from Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-03):

“Since the fall of Title 42, I have repeatedly urged the Administration to address the border crisis, and today’s announcement is a needed step to help relieve the pressure on our frontline border communities and swiftly remove those who pose a threat to Arizonans’ safety. But we need a long-term solution—one that both secures our border and includes comprehensive immigration reform. I have long pushed for action, and I’ll keep fighting until we finally fix the broken system that disproportionately harms Arizona communities.”

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

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 needed 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.

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 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.

In February 2024, he announced his support for the bipartisan Senate border deal, which 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.