Governor Kathy Hochul this week led a nine-governor coalition calling for federal action on immigration. In a letter to the White House and Congressional leaders, Governor Hochul and eight colleagues from across the nation call for $1.4 billion in aid to states and localities, as well as a comprehensive border security legislative package.
The nine-governor coalition was led by Governor Hochul of New York and includes Governor Katie Hobbs of Arizona, Governor Gavin Newsom of California, Governor Jared Polis of Colorado, Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, Governor Wes Moore of Maryland, Governor Maura Healey of Massachusetts, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Governor Michelle Lujan
Grisham of New Mexico.
The full text of the letter has been published below:
Dear President Biden, Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McConnell, Speaker Johnson and Minority Leader Jeffries:
As Governors representing over 100 million Americans, we write to call on Washington to work together to solve what has become a humanitarian crisis. The sustained arrival of individuals seeking asylum and requiring shelter and assistance, due to lack of Congressional action on infrastructure and policies, can only be addressed with federal organizational support and funding to meet the public safety and humanitarian needs of our local communities. With ongoing conflicts around the world, global migration is at a historic high. States and cities cannot indefinitely respond to the subsequent strain on state and local resources without Congressional action. Communities along the southern border – as well as interior states and cities across the country –lack the vast coordinated infrastructure needed to respond to the humanitarian and public safety concerns of those seeking lawful entry into the United States. America needs a federal solution that supports our economy, immigrants and fixes our immigration system.
Last year, President Biden put forward a $106 billion supplemental funding request to address immediate national security concerns, including $4.4 billion in desperately needed funding for a robust, federal migration strategy with $1.4 billion in aid to states and localities. 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.
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. 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. 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.
While the Biden Administration has made important progress in managing immigration at the Southwest border, the number of migrants arriving in states and cities seeking emergency shelter continues to increase at record pace. States and cities have spent billions to address inaction by Congress and match these challenges with solutions for our state and local economies. However, it is clear our national immigration system is out-
dated and unprepared to respond to this unprecedented global migration. Without serious reform informed by evidence- based solutions, the challenges facing states and localities will only grow.
We remain committed to working with the Administration and Congress to advance common sense solutions to fix our immigration system. Thank you for your consideration.
Governor Kathy Hochul, New York
Governor Katie Hobbs, Arizona
Governor Gavin Newsom, California
Governor Jared Polis, Colorado
Governor J.B. Pritzker, Illinois
Governor Wes Moore, Maryland
Governor Maura Healey, Massachusetts
Governor Phil Murphy, New Jersey
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico