September 16, 2022

Senator Warren Joins Padilla, Durbin to Request Additional Humanitarian Assistance Funding for Communities and Organizations Aiding Migrant Families

Text of Letter (PDF)

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Senators Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) in sending a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee leadership urging them to provide additional humanitarian assistance funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) in the upcoming Continuing Resolution.

As some state governors continue to engage in political stunts with the lives of asylum seekers arriving at the border, EFSP funds will ensure that non-governmental organizations, states, and local communities are able to provide adequate support services, including food, shelter, transportation, and access to basic health care. Without additional EFSP funding, NGOs and communities that have been providing critical services for years may be forced to scale back or cease operations.

“As you consider the FY 2023 Continuing Resolution, we urge you to include the White House’s anomaly request for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Additionally, we request that you consider providing additional funding for this account based on the increased needs of the grantees providing humanitarian assistance and critical services for asylum seekers,” wrote the lawmakers. “Congress has an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to protecting migrants and the right to seek refuge by extending funding for EFSP. Furthermore, Congress must ensure that communities have the tools necessary to treat migrants fairly and humanely as they flee violence and instability.”

In addition to Senators Warren, Padilla, Durbin, and Markey, the letter is also signed by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).

Senator Warren has long led efforts to protect the rights of migrants and asylum seekers, including the following steps:

  • Yesterday, Senator Warren released a statement decrying efforts to use asylum seekers as political pawns and committed to assisting communities in need. 
  • In July 2022, Senator Warren called on the Biden administration to extend Temporary Protected Status for Venezuela in light of the deteriorating political and economic situation in the country. 
  • In May 2022, Senator Warren joined a letter to Senate appropriators requesting robust funding for FEMA’s EFSP program for the upcoming year. 
  • In February 2022, Senator Warren joined a letter to President Biden expressing concern over the treatment of Black migrants attempting to seek asylum. 
  • In October 2021, Senator Warren joined a letter to the Departments of Homeland Security and State expressing outrage over the cruel treatment of Haitian migrants attempting to seek asylum.