Cornyn Urges Reimbursement of Local Texas Communities for Migrant Care


In: All News   Posted 06/18/2019
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WASHINGTON— After conversations with local officials in Texas, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) sent a letter urging Senate appropriators to reimburse local Texas communities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for migrant care directly from the Department of Homeland Security.  Due to increased border crossings in recent months, local governments and NGOs have spent significant resources on transportation, food, and shelter for migrants, services which are typically provided by the federal government.  He sent the letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy, Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Shelley Moore Capito, and Homeland Security Subcommittee Ranking Member Jon Tester.

“Along the border and throughout Texas, cities, counties, and NGO’s have felt the effects of the historical levels of the migrant influx into the United States, primarily occurring in Texas,” he wrote. “These local governments have gone above and beyond the call of duty in meeting the needs of transiting asylum seekers, UACs, and migrants through the diversion of millions of dollars in local taxpayer funds to provide transportation, food, and housing. These precious funds collected from local citizens have been diverted away from their traditional, intended purpose such as providing clean drinking water, power, and public safety needs. Instead, these resources are being used to fill a role that has traditionally been filled by the Federal government.”

Full text of the letter is here and below.

 

June 18, 2019

The Honorable Richard Shelby                                               The Honorable Patrick Leahy
Chairman                                                                                 Vice Chairman
Senate Committee on Appropriations                                     Senate Committee on Appropriations
S-128, The Capitol                                                                  S-146A, The Capitol

The Honorable Shelley Moore Capito                                     The Honorable Jon Tester
Chairwoman                                                                            Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Homeland Security                                     Subcommittee on Homeland Security
131, Dirksen Senate Office Building                                      128, Dirksen Senate Office Building
 

Dear Chairman Shelby, Vice Chairman Leahy, Chairwoman Capito, and Ranking Member Tester:
 

I write to ask for your support in providing reimbursement to the communities in the great state of Texas that have expended a significant amount of funds in caring for migrants, their families, and Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC).

As you prepare to mark-up the President’s supplemental appropriations request for the humanitarian crisis at the border totaling $4.5 billion transmitted to Congress on May 1, 2019 and the additional Notice of Anticipated Deficiency transmitted on May 17, 2019 totaling $1.4 billion from the Department of Health and Human Services for a total amount of approximately $6 billion, I urge you to include in the Chairman’s Mark language and robust funding that provides reimbursement to local communities and  Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that have - as a result of the humanitarian crisis on the border - bore the brunt for migrant care.  

Along the border and throughout Texas, cities, counties, and NGO’s have felt the effects of the historical levels of the migrant influx into the United States, primarily occurring in Texas. These local governments have gone above and beyond the call of duty in meeting the needs of transiting asylum seekers, UACs, and migrants through the diversion of millions of dollars in local taxpayer funds to provide transportation, food, and housing. These precious funds collected from local citizens have been diverted away from their traditional, intended purpose such as providing clean drinking water, power, and public safety needs. Instead, these resources are being used to fill a role that has traditionally been filled by the Federal government.

I applaud you for taking the lead in addressing the humanitarian crisis at the border. To date, the House of Representatives has not acted on the President’s supplemental funding request. As you know, the crisis we are experiencing at our southern border is unprecedented and worsening. So far this fiscal year, the U.S. Border Patrol has apprehended over 593,000 people along the southern border. This represents a 135 percent increase in apprehensions compared to the same time period in fiscal year 2018 and well exceeds the total number of apprehensions recorded by the Border Patrol for all of fiscal year 2018. The crisis has had the greatest impact on the State of Texas: 66% of all Border Patrol apprehensions so far in FY 2019 have occurred in the Border Patrol’s El Paso, Del Rio, and Rio Grande Valley sectors.

Thank you for considering this request and please let me know if there is anything I or my staff can provide to further assist you.

Respectfully,


/s/