Sinema, Kelly Secure $650 Million to Support Border Communities, Help Arizona Prevent Migrant Street Releases

Mar 23, 2024

Senators shaped bipartisan appropriations legislation to secure funds for the Shelter and Services Program and support border communities

WASHINGTON – Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema – a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee – and Mark Kelly announced that they secured $650 million in the bipartisan appropriations legislation for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Shelter and Services Program (SSP), which was set to run out for many Arizona localities and nonprofit partners at the end of this month and leave Arizona border communities without resources to manage the ongoing border crisis.

Thanks to Sinema and Kelly’s leadership, the SSP funds will help prevent migrant street releases across Southern Arizona. The Senators also secured significant Arizona priorities that help secure the border and keep families safe.

“As Washington partisans fail to secure the border, Arizona border communities pay the price for their inaction – shouldering the burden of a crisis they did not create. I’m proud to secure critical resources to support our border communities, reducing the number of migrant street releases and keeping Arizona families safe,” said Sinema. 

“Replenishing these funds has been a critical need for Arizona border communities. That’s why Senator Sinema and I urged congressional leaders to not leave our border communities behind and fought hard to include this and other resources in the final government funding bill,” said Kelly. “While I believe there is more the federal government must do, this assistance will help local governments and nonprofits in Arizona bearing the cost of the crisis. I will keep working to fix the challenges at the border and secure the support our communities deserve.” 

Last month, Sinema and Kelly sent a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging them to allocate sufficient SSP funding – noting that, without additional funding, organizations managing the fallout of the border crisis will be forced to cease operations, increasing the likelihood that migrants will be released without shelter or support into the streets of local Arizona communities.

SSP funds are used to reimburse local governments and nonprofits who provide shelter, food, transportation, and support services to asylum seekers arriving at Arizona’s southern border. In December, Sinema and Kelly urged the Department of Homeland Security to distribute additional SSP funding to border communities in Arizona and criticized the failure to prioritize border states for SSP funds. Later, Sinema and Kelly secured approval from the Administration to allow Pima County to use its FY 2022 Emergency Food and Shelter Program – Humanitarian (EFSP-H) funds.