Cornyn, Texas Border Delegation Write FEMA Administrator in Support of Texas Applications for Reimbursement for Migrant Care

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Image for Illustration purposes only
Image for Illustration purposes only

Texas Border Business

AUSTIN – U.S. Senator John Cornyn led a letter to Acting Administrator Pete Gaynor of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in support of Texas communities’ and non-governmental organizations’ (NGOs) applications for federal reimbursement for migrant care. He was joined by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and U.S. Representatives Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Will Hurd (TX-23), and Veronica Escobar (TX-16).

Congress appropriated $30 million for reimbursement to local communities and NGOs in the border supplemental appropriations bill in June after hearing from many local Texas officials and non-profits that had spent significant resources on migrant care due to increased border crossings in recent months.

“Throughout Texas, local communities and NGOs have felt the effects of the historical levels of migrant influx into the United States,” they wrote. “Cities, counties, and NGOs 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 to provide transportation, food, shelter, and other services which are traditionally provided by the federal government. Preliminary, initial estimates reported by NGOs, local jurisdictions, and other entities across the State of Texas for the entire universe of costs incurred are approximately $10 million. It is critical that Texas communities be reimbursed for diverting finite, local resources to provide humanitarian aid at the expense of their usual operations.”


The signed letter is attached and full text is below.

September 6, 2019

The Honorable Pete Gaynor

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Acting Administrator

Federal Emergency Management Agency

500 C Street SW

Washington, DC 20024

Dear Acting Administrator Gaynor,

I am writing to express my strong support for providing reimbursement to communities and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the State of Texas that have expended an extraordinary amount of funds in caring for the recent influx of migrants, their families, and Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC). As you may know, in June, we requested that this funding be included in the Congress’ bipartisan supplemental appropriations package to help provide assistance to these communities through the Federal Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP).

The crisis that has unfolded at our southern border is unprecedented and continues to worsen. For this fiscal year, the U.S. Border Patrol has apprehended over 810,000 people along the southern border. This represents a 128 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 the previous fiscal year. The crisis has had the greatest impact on the State of Texas: 68 percent 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.

Throughout Texas, local communities and NGOs have felt the effects of the historical levels of migrant influx into the United States. Cities, counties, and NGOs 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 to provide transportation, food, shelter, and other services which are traditionally provided by the federal government. Preliminary, initial estimates reported by NGOs, local jurisdictions, and other entities across the State of Texas for the entire universe of costs incurred are approximately $10 million. It is critical that Texas communities be reimbursed for diverting finite, local resources to provide humanitarian aid at the expense of their usual operations.

As individual entities within Texas apply for this funding, we want express our support for those applications that will meet the needs of these communities, and those they serve.  We appreciate your diligent and expeditious attention on this matter. Finally, we would request that you keep us informed on the progress of applications, the status of obligations and overall funding amounts, advanced notification of public awards, and any changes to the policy or processing of applications. 

Sincerely,

cc: The Emergency Food and Shelter Program

701 North Fairfax Street, Suite 310

Alexandria, VA 22314-2064

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