Earlier this year, Sinema secured additional funding for the Emergency Food & Shelter Program
PHOENIX — Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema convened a roundtable with Arizona non-profit organizations to discuss and exchange ideas about improving the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) to address the crisis at the Southern Border.
“Hearing directly from Arizona non-profits informs our work in Washington to ensure migrants are treated fairly and humanely while securing the border and keeping Arizona families safe and secure,” said Sinema, Chair of the Senate Border Management and Government Operations Subcommittee.
The EFSP was originally developed to help non-profits deliver services to Arizonans experiencing homelessness. In response to 2019’s influx of migrants at the Southwest Border, the program was expanded to include migrant services to keep Arizona communities safe and provide network of support to migrants after their release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody.
EFSP can be used for food, temporary housing, and transportation for migrants. However, the program’s administrative process can be burdensome for many non-profits, and the program makes it difficult for these organizations to adapt to the rapidly shifting circumstances on the border. Arizona’s border communities and non-profits serve on the front lines of the migrant crisis, and the EFSP is the primary tool utilized to ensure migrants are not left in communities without the assistance necessary to reach their final destinations.
Since 2021, Sinema has secured $260 million for EFSP through the American Rescue Plan and the fiscal year 2022 government funding law. In February, Sinema and a bipartisan group of Senators called for continued funding for EFSP. When Sinema became Chair of the Senate Border Management Subcommittee, her first hearing focused on the contributions and challenges experienced by non-governmental organizations operating at the border.