An Arizona Democrat called out President Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for dragging its feet on helping the communities of his state and other border states.
Arizona Democrat Rep. Ruben Gallego has been an outspoken critic of the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s (FEMA) Shelter and Services Program (SSP) funding model for border communities amid the immigration crisis.
Gallego has sent several letters to the Biden administration regarding his disagreement on the funding model — including one to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — and called the SSP model “misguided” in his letter to FEMA.
After sending the letter to Mayorkas, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent the congressman’s office a breakdown of their FY24 budget request.
After receiving the list, Gallego’s office sent it to DHS with questions on how the funding will be used for Arizona but received noncommittal and little concrete information. Additionally, DHS would not answer basic questions on the funding.
Gallego told Fox News Digital that “Arizona border communities are bearing the brunt of increased migrant arrivals.”
“They need federal support, and at this point, from what we’ve heard from DHS and local leaders, the supplemental package will not get them funding on the scale we need,” Gallego said.
“I’m not backing down from supporting Arizonans—we must get this right, so these programs work for border states,” he added.
Gallego’s office has also been in contact with Arizona border communities to maintain a pulse on the ground situation.
The communities have been doing well in their response to the influx of migrants but that CBP facilities are hitting their maximum capacity, requiring more funds, Gallego’s office says.
Transportation remains an issue for the localities, as the number of migrants appearing can fluctuate and requires flexibility.
Local governments have also taken on added responsibilities due to under-staffing at CBP, such as Pima County doing health screenings to prevent the spread of diseases like monkeypox and tuberculosis.
Additionally, the Tucson sector is headed towards being the second-busiest border sector, meaning the release of migrants into communities could skyrocket if funding runs dry, according to the office.
DHS did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Gallego’s criticism comes as states far from the forefront of the border crisis call for federal aid for the migrant populations arriving.
New York is seeking federal aid to deal with the migrants arriving in the state, with New York City Mayor Eric Adams saying on Sunday the influx of tens of thousands of migrants will bring a “financial tsunami” as departments across the board are forced to slash budgets to accommodate the new arrivals.
An MSNBC writer blasted Adams — who touted his city as a sanctuary city for illegal migrants — as “Black Trump” on Sunday for his speech raising concerns about the migrant crisis which was spilling over into the Big Apple, calling it “bigoted thinking” inspired by the right.
“But there’s a reason Adams’ rant is being applauded by conservatives… Maybe it’s because [conservatives] feel they’ve made him… come around to their bigoted thinking,” said Ja’han Jones, a writer for MSNBC’s The ReidOut Blog, the “digital extension” of Joy Reid’s primetime show.
Fox News Digital’s Bradford Betz and Hannah Grossman contributed reporting.