The massive Senate omnibus spending bill includes a more than 400% increase for nongovernmental organizations sheltering, transporting and feeding illegal immigrants.
The latest bill includes $785 million for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) emergency food and shelter program, which is up from $150 million in the fiscal year 2022 spending package. The FEMA program is used to provide funding for nonprofit organizations and government social service organizations that give shelter, transportation, food and other forms of aid to illegal immigrants.
The proposed increase in funding comes during record illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection has recorded more than 2.3 million migrant encounters in fiscal year 2022. The bill has yet to pass.
During the recent illegal immigration influx, the FEMA program has funded cities like El Paso to house and bus illegal immigrants to other areas of the country.
Some of the nonprofit organizations aiding illegal immigrants, like Catholic Charities USA, which has received FEMA funding from the program, have faced recent scrutiny from Republicans.
Republican Texas Rep. Lance Gooden co-authored a congressional letter sent Wednesday to the nonprofit organization, accusing it of “violating federal law and regulation, placing migrants and American communities at risk, and subjecting local communities to unreasonable burdens.” Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has tasked the state’s attorney general’s office with investigating nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) for facilitating illegal immigration.
“We further understand NGOs may be engaged in unlawfully orchestrating other border crossings through activities on both sides of the border, including in sectors other than El Paso,” Abbott wrote of his directive.
FEMA didn’t immediately respond to the DCNF’s comment.
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