ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico communities and nonprofit organizations are having trouble getting reimbursement for caring for migrants, according to members of the state’s congressional delegation.
U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján, Deb Haaland and Xochitl Torres Small sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency Acting Administrator Peter T. Gaynor requesting that communities and non-governmental organizations in New Mexico be adequately reimbursed by the Emergency Food and Shelter Program for costs incurred providing humanitarian relief to asylum seekers.
In June, the Democratic lawmakers secured $30 million in reimbursement funds for communities, nonprofit and church organizations in New Mexico and elsewhere that provided humanitarian relief to asylum seekers as part of a $4.6 billion border aid package passed by Congress.
“We are discouraged by FEMA’s roll out of the EFSP Southern Border Humanitarian Assistance program, and FEMA’s lack of communication and coordination with Congress and applicants in New Mexico when developing the guidance and assistance for the application process,” the delegation wrote. “Many New Mexican applicants have found the application process overly burdensome and the documentation requirements inflexible, with no accounting for the realities of providing emergency humanitarian aid.”