Stepping up

Dear Friend,

I am grateful to all of the New Mexicans who have stepped up in this trying time to serve asylum seekers in need. Even though the Trump administration has provided little coordination or communication with New Mexico cities like Las Cruces, Deming, and Albuquerque to address this crisis, many are responding with kindness and compassion by volunteering their time and resources to help migrant families.

Because federal agencies have not provided for sufficient shelter and humanitarian needs for theses asylum seekers, local, state, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in New Mexico are facing new and unbudgeted costs. That's why I fought so hard to secure $30 million in reimbursement funds for the border communities and non-profits who have stepped up to help.

Instead of the president's ineffective rhetoric and intentional chaos, we need pragmatic solutions that reflect our American values. Any solution to this refugee crisis must address the root causes of migration from Central America, including extreme poverty and violence. I am cosponsoring legislation that reinstitutes depleted foreign aid assistance to countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, cracks down on gang violence, and strengthens economic opportunity. I am also holding the Trump administration accountable for following the law in processing asylum claims.

I always wonder how different my own life would be if America had turned my father away, or broken up his family, when he immigrated here from Germany as a young boy in the 1930s. I am sincerely appreciative that so many New Mexicans are showing what we truly stand for by helping the mothers, fathers, and children who are desperately seeking refuge and the prospect of a better life.

Sincerely,

MARTIN HEINRICH

United States Senator