Butler Pushes Admin For Additional Migrant Shelter and Service Funds

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.) urged immediate action from the Administration to allocate additional funding for the Shelter and Services Program (SSP). This funding will provide migrants with access to essential services, including food and shelter, following the closure of a transitional assistance center in San Diego that was serving up to 1,200 migrants per day.

Following meetings with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas, who highlighted the critical need for increased SSP funding to support San Diego’s communities, Butler emphasized the urgency of the situation, stressing that delays could worsen the challenges faced by vulnerable migrant populations and the receiving communities.

“I stand with Mayor Gloria and Chair Vargas in calling for more funding to help border states provide aid to migrants who find themselves without shelter or basic necessities,” said Senator Butler. “I remain dedicated to advocating for policies that uphold our values of justice and compassion as we actively address border challenges at the federal level.”

The Senator’s letter to the Administration also advocates for a wider group of organizations to qualify for funding to help assist with this crisis. By opening up the pool of eligible applicants for funding, organizations with unique skillsets and experience can apply their expertise to addressing this complex situation.

The full letter can be found here and below:

Dear Director Young, Secretary Mayorkas, Administrator Criswell, and Acting Commissioner Miller,

I request immediate funding for the Shelter and Services Program (SSP) in accordance with the Fiscal Year 2023 appropriation under continuing resolution authority. Despite the fiscal constraints imposed by a continuing resolution, I urge the Administration to allocate this crucial funding without delay.

Additionally, I urge the Administration to allow new applicants to be eligible for future Shelter and Services Program (SSP) funding disbursements through Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs). This change in allocation processes will enhance the effectiveness of our collective efforts in addressing the evolving challenges faced by an uptick in recent migrant arrivals. By allowing new, willing actors to participate, this complex problem will be addressed by additional experts and their diverse resources.

States, including California, continue to see significant numbers of migrant encounters at our southern border. The situation in California became even more pressing this past week. In San Diego, a transitional assistance center that was serving up to 1,200 migrants per day was forced to shutter after local resources provided by the County ran out. Without the intervention this transitional facility was able to provide, Border Patrol will now be forced to release an estimated 800-1000 migrants a day without orientation or basic humanitarian assistance at regional transit stations. There is an urgent need for additional SSP funding to ensure that these migrants have access to essential temporary services, including food and shelter. While I am optimistic that Congressional leaders will soon pass a full-year appropriations bill, it is imperative that the Administration acts now.

The challenges faced by border communities are multifaceted and require sustained resources and improved processes. Allocating funding for SSP under the current budgetary constraints signals the Administration’s commitment to addressing the complex issues facing our border regions. Expanding eligibility for qualifying applicants will enhance the effectiveness of our collective efforts to address these challenges. As we navigate the intricacies of government funding, we must not forget our moral imperative to care for those who seek refuge in our great nation.

The Administration’s commitment to addressing the challenges that border communities face, particularly the supplemental request for additional $1.4 billion in SSP grants, is deeply appreciated. I will do my part to encourage my colleagues to support the supplemental request to help address these pressing needs.




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