Border States Cry Foul as a Large Share of Migrant Crisis Relief Dollars Flow to Sanctuary Jurisdictions
Even as Congress grapples with an emergency request by the Biden administration for pay for the costs associated with the migration crisis, cities and states are fighting over a vastly insufficient pot of cash approved by Congress last December. As part of the budget reconciliation process during a lame duck session of the 117th Congress, $800 million was earmarked to alleviate some of the burdens the border crisis is imposing on state and local governments.
The largest share of those funds has been directed to New York — $104.6 million, to be precise – which has border state officials seeing red. Arizona’s Independent Senator, Kyrsten Sinema (who formally left the Democratic Party in December 2022) is livid at the White House and the congressional Democratic leadership over how the money is being allocated. Sinema noted that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries both hail from New York City, wondering if that might have something to do with New York’s outsized federal bounty. “Now how did that happen?” she asked wryly.
Bowing to its own fiercely defended sanctuary policies and decades-old legal settlements requiring the city shelter anyone who turns up in the five boroughs, New York City is at the receiving end of 10,000 new illegal migrants a month. But neither the city nor the state has taken steps to alter those policies. And even the $104.6 million that politically influential jurisdiction is Hoovering up, it is a pittance compared with the $12 billion Mayor Eric Adams expects the city will have to shell out on migrant assistance over the next three years.
Sinema and other disgruntled border state representatives (both Republican and Democratic) do have a legitimate beef with how the woefully insufficient federal assistance is being allocated. But until there is a bipartisan effort to force the Biden administration to secure our borders and end its abuse of humanitarian parole authority, the squabble between border states and interior states over federal assistance amounts to fighting over crumbs.