October 11, 2019

NM Delegation Announces Humanitarian Assistance Awards for New Mexico Organizations, Communities

First wave of reimbursement funds being distributed after NM delegation secured $30 million for communities and organizations providing humanitarian relief to asylum seekers

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.)Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) announced the National Board for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) has begun awarding the first wave of Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance (SAHA) to organizations and localities in Bernalillo County, Doña Ana County, and Luna County. In June, the lawmakers secured $30 million in grants to reimburse local organizations and communities that have provided humanitarian assistance to asylum seekers.  

“I am proud to have worked alongside the New Mexico delegation to secure this urgently-needed funding for New Mexico communities, and I am glad to see the first wave of funds being distributed to organizations and communities that have stepped up to assist asylum seekers,” said Udall, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “New Mexico communities and organizations have been on the front-lines of this humanitarian crisis, they are being stretched thin, and they have borne the burden of ineffective and toxic immigration policies. This is not a partisan issue. These local communities and organizations have shown the best of New Mexico – but they need help, relief, and reimbursement. That’s why I’ve worked so hard to secure these reimbursement funds, and won’t stop working until New Mexicans get the help and reimbursement they deserve. We look forward to working with FEMA during the second application period and appreciate their willingness to take into account lessons-learned and best practices when moving forward with the next wave of awards.” 

“New Mexico communities, non-profits, and charities stepped up during a trying time to care for countless families and children seeking refuge in our country,” said Heinrich. “Being able to honor the people of Deming and Las Cruces last week who found a way to give people shelter, food and help when they had nowhere else to turn was truly heartening. But I also recognize that these services should have been covered by the federal government. That’s why we fought so hard to reimburse local entities who shouldered the burden of the Trump Administration’s reckless immigration and border policies. I will keep standing up for New Mexico’s border communities, who through all of this have been emblematic of our enduring humanity, compassion, and true American values.”

“In New Mexico, faith-based groups, local governments, and nonprofit organizations stepped up to address the humanitarian crisis and assist asylum seekers with critical resources,” said Assistant Speaker Luján. “While the Trump administration refused to address a crisis of its own making, our communities responded with compassion and unity. I’m proud to have helped secure reimbursements for these organizations so they can continue serving our communities.” 

“Our communities stepped up in a big way to help those in need. They shouldn’t have to foot the bill for this administration’s wasteful management of the humanitarian crisis on the border, but the Trump administration has forced our local governments and organizations to shoulder the burden. That’s why the delegation and I sent a letter urging FEMA to reimburse our communities. This announcement is welcome news, so our folks on the ground can continue the good work they’re doing to help refugee families,” said Haaland.

“Earlier this year border communities, non-profits, and faith centers stepped up to address some of the challenges created by the federal government’s failure to work across party lines to fix our broken immigration system.  Showcasing their New Mexican values, these communities and organizations spent their limited resources to shelter migrants. I fought hard alongside the rest of the delegation to ensure their hard work was compensated, and their resources reimbursed by the federal government,” said Torres Small. “We cannot stop here, however, we must continue fighting for our communities and local organizations, which is why I deeply appreciate that following the introduction of my bill, the Southern Border Communities Relief Act, and vocal concerns from the delegation, FEMA will modify its application process for future awards to better reflect the reality that organizations faced when responding to fluid situations.”

EFSP awarded the grants based on the number of migrants served, the direct costs incurred in serving the migrants, and the sufficiency of available funds. Organizations and localities receiving awards in this first wave include:

Catholic Charities of Central New Mexico

Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountain

Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque

City of Las Cruces

Mustard Seeds & Rainbows Ministries, Inc.

El Calvario United Methodist Church

Holy Cross Retreat Center

Luna County