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Democratic governors press Biden, Congress on migrant surge

A group of Democratic governors on Tuesday called on congressional leaders and President Biden to reach a deal on a legislative package that would provide “desperately needed” funds to address the migrant surge at the border.

The letter, led by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), urged Washington leaders to put aside political considerations to move swiftly to reach a deal on comprehensive border security legislation.

“While political motivations continue to delay the negotiations, our economy, states and localities are bearing the brunt of the shortcomings of the existing immigration system,” read the letter, addressed to Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).

The governors expressed support for Biden’s initial supplemental funding request, which included $4.4 billion for a “robust, federal migration strategy,” with $1.4 billion in aid to states and municipalities.

“Those funds would provide support to federal agencies for additional personnel to increase border security, add staff to accelerate processing times and eligibility determinations, and increase removal proceedings for those ineligible to stay in the United States,” the governors wrote in the letter.

“We believe the President’s supplemental request provides a minimum level of funding and actions that will allow the United States to begin transformational reforms to its immigration system and uphold the principles of democracy that America was built upon,” they wrote.

The letter was signed by Hochul, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The Democratic governors called for swift action when Congress returns.

“Therefore, as you return to Washington to resume work on critical federal funding measures, we strongly urge Congress and the Administration to quickly negotiate an agreement on a border security legislative package that includes federal coordination and decompression at the southern and northern borders; federal funding for both border and interior states and cities receiving new arrivals; and a serious commitment to modernizing our immigration system in the United States,” the letter read.

The surge of migration at the southern border has been a political issue for Democrats as well as a policy one — as migration increased, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has led the effort to send migrants by bus to cities without warning their local leaders. The situation can lead to chaos as cities struggle to find last-minute shelter and resources for migrants who arrive.

Source: The Hill

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