FEMA program for migrants grows along with border crisis

(The Center Square) – The city of Atlanta received $4.85 million in funding in 2023, the first year of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Shelter and Services Program for migrants. In 2024, the city will get $10.89 million in the second year with another round of funding later in the year to be announced.

FEMA’s Shelter and Services Program is another indicator of the growing impact of the arrival of millions of foreign nationals in the U.S. since President Joe Biden took office.

The program provides grants to communities for the expenses they will incur for handling migrants. There were 14 states, including Washington D.C., that received the first tranche of money in fiscal year 2023.

The funding for the program has increased from $363.8 million in fiscal year 2023 to $650 million in fiscal year 2024. Now, city officials and politicians are asking it be funded by as much as $3 billion.

On July 2, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas called the current U.S. immigration surge “unprecedented.”

Since Biden took office in January 2021, about 12 million illegal border crossings have been documented, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data and “gotaway” data obtained from border agents by The Center Square. Gotaways is the official CBP term to describe those who illegally crossed the border and were not apprehended. CBP does not publicly release “gotaway” data.

In November 2023, the United States Conference of Mayors sent a letter to Congress asking that the funding for the program be set at a minimum of $1.3 billion.

In March, Congresswoman Lori Trahan, D-Mass., and Congresswoman Diana DeGette, D-Co., requested $3 billion in funding for the Shelter and Services Program.