WASHINGTON, D.C. ― After reports that U.S. Border Patrol has in recent weeks released more than 4,000 migrants applying for asylum in the United States in Las Cruces, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) Tuesday sent a letter with U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján, Xochitl Torres Small and Deb Haaland, to the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees requesting that state and local governments and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are providing much-needed humanitarian relief to asylum seekers in southern New Mexico are reimbursed.
“It is clear that the federal government’s policies have put a strain on local resources and contributed to the humanitarian crisis along the border,” the New Mexico delegation wrote. “New Mexico and its communities are facing new and unbudgeted costs caring for asylum-seeking migrants, as federal agencies have not provided for their sufficient shelter and humanitarian needs. These costs are expected to continue.”
The New Mexico delegation added, “There is bipartisan precedent for such reimbursements to communities relating to providing humanitarian relief to unaccompanied children and adults accompanied by a minor after entering the United States. Given the impact of the humanitarian needs on our southern border, and the strain on state, local, and NGO resources, we believe it is critical that Congress work to ensure that border communities and NGOs are not unduly burdened by the cost of administering emergency aid, which is the more appropriate responsibility of federal agencies.”