Texas Border Business
WASHINGTON – Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) and Filemon Vela (TX-34) have sent a letter to Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard and Ranking Member Chuck Fleischmann of the House Appropriations Committee to request additional language in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill. This language would make local governments, non-profits, and other entities in the Rio Grande Valley eligible to apply for reimbursements in the form of a grant for the housing and care of family units released into the community.
Last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began releasing family units in border communities without any preparation or coordination with local entities. The agency has cited overcapacity as the reason for this decision.
“Efforts to deal with people entering the United States through the Rio Grande Valley continue to strain local resources,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “At the request of our constituents and local leaders, Congressman Vela and I have come together to ensure that local governments remain financially stable as they continue to direct their own resources to provide basic necessities for those entering this country.”
“Our local governments and NGOs have stepped in to provide critical services to families released by the Department of Homeland Security, all while absorbing the cost of assistance,” Congressman Vela said. “In order to provide funding relief to our local governments, I have proposed language in the Fiscal Year 2020 Homeland Security appropriations bill that allows governments to be reimbursed for providing these services. Congressman Gonzalez and I will continue to fight for inclusion of this language in any upcoming funding package.”