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July 16, 2021

Rep. Kirkpatrick Secures Immigration Borderland Priorities in FY2022 Homeland Security Appropriations Legislation

Legislation secures the critical infrastructure, protects our national security, and respects the dignity of immigrants

(Tucson, AZ) — Rep. Kirkpatrick announces massive legislative victories from the fiscal year 2022 Homeland Security funding bill, which was approved on a 33-24 vote. 

For 2022, the bill provides funding of $52.81 billion, an increase of $934 million above 2021. In total, the bill provides total funding of $76.15 billion, including $18.8 billion for major disaster response and recovery and $4.57 billion that is offset by fee collections. 

Rep. Kirkpatrick’s priorities were successfully included and approved in today’s full committee vote. The legislation includes:

  • Grants $100M for a community-based shelter grant program administered by FEMA, which will provide disaster-relief care to migrants in need.
  • Provides $15M for a FEMA Case Management program that will be overseen by the DHS’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, which will enable immigrant case records to be analyzed with a civil rights lens.
  • Provides no new funding for the border wall, and redirects $100M of previously approved border wall funding towards mitigation activities that take a more holistic and humane approach to immigration.
  • Defunds family detention, and prohibits ICE from continuing contracts for detention facilities that fail two consecutive inspections. These reforms will ensure detained migrants are treated with dignity, a reversal from policies enforced during the Trump administration.
  • Prohibits the detention of certain survivors of crime and trafficking, in order to protect victims of these crimes, and provides protections for transgender immigrants in custody.
  • Prohibits the destruction of any documentation relating to deaths or allegations of abuse in detention, and requires these records to be made available upon request, which increases transparency into practices of detention centers.

“The legislative wins I fought for in the Department of Homeland Security Funding Bill make great strides in protecting our homeland, while also recognizing that immigrants who come to America should be treated with basic human rights,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “My district shares over 50 miles of border wall with Mexico, so I know first-hand that Trump’s brazen approach to immigration was appalling, and it was ineffective. Today’s bill ensures that our immigration practices are aligned with American values.”

In addition to accomplishing the above items for which Rep. Kirkpatrick advocated, the legislation also: 

  • Secures our critical infrastructure with dramatically increased funding to prevent cyber-attacks and root out cyber intrusions
  • Invests strongly in maritime security through funding for the Coast Guard
  • Makes responsible investments in border security
  • Respects the dignity of immigrants with new funding to improve migrant processing and reduce backlogs in refugee, asylum, and immigration benefit applications

“As the nature of the threats facing the country changes, the missions and investments of the Department of Homeland Security must quickly adapt and respond. This bill makes historic investments in cyber and infrastructure security, helps communities combat domestic extremist violence, expands the reach of the Coast Guard in the Arctic and the maritime drug and transit zones, and supports the FEMA response workforce as climate change makes natural disasters more frequent and severe,” Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) said.  “We are also taking steps to help the Department restore a commitment to the humane treatment of migrants through increased funding for Alternatives to Detention with case management services and reduced lengths of stay in detention for asylum seekers who don’t pose a flight risk and are not a threat to public safety or national security.”

“As recent events like the Colonial Pipeline hack have demonstrated, it is obvious that we must do more to secure our nation’s cyberinfrastructure. That’s why this bill’s investments in preventing cyber attacks and rooting out cyber intrusions are so critical,” Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) said. “Elsewhere within Homeland Security, a strong Coast Guard is essential to protect our national security, especially from Russian aggression in the Arctic, and the funding in this bill is pivotal to that effort. Finally, I continue to have serious concerns regarding the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals, particularly children, at border facilities. We must do more to protect immigrants, especially children and their families. I am proud that this bill respects their dignity by improving conditions in CPB short-term holding facilities, investing in alternatives to detention, making processing quicker and more efficient, and reducing backlogs of immigration, refugee, and asylum applications.”

The following amendments to the bill were adopted by the full Committee:

Rep. Roybal-Allard #1 – The manager’s amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Roybal-Allard #2 – Requires the FEMA cost share adjustment to be not less than 90 percent for disasters and emergencies declared or that began in calendar year 2020. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Meng #1Allows unused fiscal year 2020 and 2021 diversity visas, employment visas, and family-based visas to remain available in fiscal year 2022 and beyond until they are used. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Meng #2 (with Reps. Espaillat, Pocan and Torres)Allows issuance of diversity visas to immigrants who would have otherwise been issued diversity visas but for former President Trump’s Muslim Ban. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Pingree (with Reps. Cuellar, Harris, and Ruppersberger)Provides the Secretary of Homeland Security with authority to make available additional H-2B visas. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Cuellar (with Rep. Newhouse) Requires the admittance of H-2A workers in fiscal year 2021 without regard to whether they will engage in work that is temporary or seasonal in nature. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Watson Coleman Provides for the cancellation of Community Disaster Loans. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

A summary of the bill is here. The text of the bill, before the adoption of amendments in full Committee, is here. The bill report, before the adoption of amendments in full Committee, is here. In keeping with the Appropriations Committee’s commitment to transparency, information on Community Project Funding in the bill is here.

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