Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Sends Letter to Governor’s Office Requesting Reimbursement for Border Communities

FEMA issues bulletin that further clarifies reimbursement

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WASHINGTON, July 14, 2017 | Rafael Benavides ((956) 725-0639) | comments

Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) released the following statement regarding the delay in reimbursement for border communities who have provided humanitarian assistance during the surge of immigrants which began in 2014:

Today, I have sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott addressing the concerns of our border communities who have yet to be reimbursed for the humanitarian assistance they provided when the federal government was overwhelmed by a large influx of immigrants that began in 2014. I fought hard in Congress to author appropriation language that allows our local communities on the border to be reimbursed for their humanitarian assistance with federal dollars. The State of Texas as the administrator of these federal dollars has not reimbursed our border communities.

I understand that there was a misunderstanding between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Governor’s Office that led to the assumption that the use of FEMA’s State Homeland Security Program federal funds to reimburse communities was not allowed. I understand that this misunderstanding has held the state back from reimbursing communities. I have since contacted FEMA to provide further clarification to the State of Texas stating that border communities are allowed to be reimbursed for their humanitarian assistance going back to 2014. There is, now, without a doubt clarification that the State of Texas can tap into its average of $20 million a year from the State Homeland Security Program’s federal dollars to reimburse our communities.

Attached are Congressman Cuellar’s letter to Governor Greg Abbott, and a bulletin released from FEMA today clarifying allowable reimbursements for border communities.

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