Gov. Katie Hobbs says Congress must give migrant assistance program $752M to avoid street releases

Mar 13, 2024, 4:00 PM | Updated: Mar 14, 2024, 2:24 pm

border security funding arizona governor katie hobbs...

Gov. Katie Hobbs said she wants no less than $752 million to go to CBP's Shelter and Services Program. (File photos: Ross D. Franklin, left, Andres Leighton, right)

(File photos: Ross D. Franklin, left, Andres Leighton, right)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s leaders are urging politicians at the U.S. Capitol to send over $752 million in urgent border security funding.

Gov. Katie Hobbs sent a letter to key leaders in the Senate and House Appropriations Committees on Wednesday, urging them to allocate the money for a CBP program that gives money to programs that help undocumented migrants.

Her letter came a month after Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly sent their own letter to Congress asking for the same amount of money.

The $752 million is necessary to keep border communities safe, Hobbs added.

“Without additional support, critical services could be compromised, placing both migrants and local residents at risk,” she said. “It’s time to prioritize practical solutions over political maneuvers.”

What’s the program that needs urgent border support funding?

The program Hobbs wants Congress to allocate more money for is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Shelter and Services Program (SSP).

The program helps non-federal organizations assist undocumented migrants after they’ve been released from the custody of the Department of Homeland Security.

Essentially, SSP gives funds to groups that provide shelter and other services to people who aren’t citizens.

Hobbs said $752 million is necessary to release migrants in a safe and orderly way.

Without the money, undocumented migrants could be released onto the streets, she said.

“My state has done everything possible to deliver safety and security to those communities,” Hobbs said in the letter. “We need Congress to step up and do its job.”

She also urged Congressional leaders to consider the funding proposals outlined in the bipartisan border security agreement. She said the additional 1,500 CBP workers would better manage the influx of migrants.

Additionally, Hobbs said the bill could reduce the amount of fentanyl flowing over the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.

“This funding is not merely a request,” Hobbs said. “It is a necessity and serves as the linchpin in addressing the complex challenges on our border.”

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Gov. Katie Hobbs says Congress must give migrant assistance program $752M to avoid street releases