Release Date: September 27, 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), announced more than $12.2 million in grants through the Shelter and Services Program (SSP), which was authorized by Congress to support communities that are providing services to migrants. The funding will be available to 35 grant recipients for temporary shelter and other eligible costs associated with migrants awaiting the outcome of their immigration proceedings. Today’s announcement builds on the more than $290 million announced through SSP in June and $77 million announced in August, which brings the total funding allocated – including Emergency Food and Shelter Program – Humanitarian Awards (EFSP-H) funding — to more than $790 million. Overall, 69 entities, in both Southwest Border and interior communities, have been allocated funding this year.
“SSP grants have provided critical support to communities receiving migrants and the need for this support is ongoing,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “With this announcement, DHS has completed allocating all available FY23 SSP funding authorized by Congress. We urge lawmakers to act on DHS’s request for an additional $600 million for SSP in the FY23 budget supplemental to continue supporting border and interior communities receiving migrants.”
The broken immigration system has not traditionally provided funding for communities in which migrants await their immigration proceedings. This Administration has leveraged the EFSP-H funding to provide support for communities, and starting last December, the Bipartisan Year-End Omnibus signed by President Biden authorized the creation of the new SSP grant program to support these communities.
The SSP was designed to quickly allocate funding to both Southwest Border and interior communities to meet a diverse set of needs across the nation. Last month, in response to stakeholder feedback, DHS expanded the cap for both hotels/motels and airfare to 10 percent of the total funding requested by the applicant and allowed recipients to apply for a waiver of those caps based on operational need. These amended policies apply to all SSP funding allocated to date. Additionally, DHS stated in the August Notice of Funding Opportunity that allocations for reserve funding were based on factors including an eligible applicant’s location at the Southwest Border (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas); data from CBP on migrant encounters, releases, and demographics; and recent reports, trends, policies, and information on migrant flows and migration patterns from federal sources involved in day-to-day operations in the Southwest Border.
DHS efforts to manage and secure our borders in a safe, orderly, and humane way include support for communities, as well as an expansion of lawful pathways and strengthened consequences that have helped reduce the number of encounters from specific populations.
For more information on the new Shelter and Services Program, visit: www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/shelter-services-program