Arizona border cities see less FEMA funding as money shifts to New York, Chicago

Arizona leaders in Yuma want to know why their border community is getting one-tenth of the funds going to places like Manhattan.
Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 5:43 PM MST
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YUMA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - So far this year, FEMA has allocated more than $290 million to fund migrant shelters & provide healthcare, food, and other services to border communities. The funding is provided through the Shelters and Services Program. Of that money, Yuma County received $11 million, Pima County $8.4 million, and Maricopa County around $4.2 million.

Congressman Ruben Gallego said that money is only good for a few months worth of expenses. “Some of the money we used to get in terms of refunds to our municipalities are now non-existent or have become extremely reduced and are now shifting to bigger cities,” he said.

Gallego said there’s more funding available, but it’s not going to border towns. Instead, that money is going to larger cities like New York, Chicago, and Denver.

New York City, which has dealt with an influx of migrants recently, got $104 million, a third of the total funding. “I’m not saying New York City doesn’t need it, but to take it away from Yuma or, for example, Nogales, it’s just unfair,” Gallego said.

Some Arizona leaders addressed the need for federal funding in a roundtable held by presidential hopeful Tim Scott on Friday. The Yuma Food Bank director says they can’t keep up with demand. “Dealing with 1,000 asylum seekers sometimes in a day, they just don’t have the capacity to do that. So the government should recognize that,” Gallego said.

FEMA says $72 million remains for 2023 in the shelter and services program for this year.

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