San Antonio councilwoman to FEMA: Open humanitarian reimbursement applications


SAN ANTONIO (Border Report) ⁠— San Antonio City Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, who represents the southern district of the city, told Border Report that she doesn’t understand why the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has not yet opened up application forms for cities and nonprofits to apply for reimbursement funds for helping migrants.

The FEMA reimbursement process was being changed, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, (D-Texas), announced last month when he visited McAllen, Texas. At that time, Cuellar said the process was being tweaked and the applications would soon be open for municipalities and nonprofits to apply for $30 million in available funds that have been appropriated by Congress. But Viagran said city officials check daily and, so far, they have not been able to file for reimbursement.

For more on the available FEMA funds,
read this previous Border Report story.

“They have the money but they haven’t released the applications for the border states and the cities to fill out the applications for those reimbursements. So we still have not been able to apply for that because the application has not been released,” Viagran told Border Report during a luncheon where the San Antonio mayor laid out his vision for the city’s future.

Viagran said that the City of San Antonio and partnering nonprofit agencies have spent $600,000 in total since March to care for more than 22,000 migrants who have come through the city’s Migrant Resource Center, which is located near the downtown bus stop.

She said that the city council is budgeting about $300,000 per quarter to help pay for migrant care, but the initial funds that were spent were completely unexpected.

“I’ve been so proud of San Antonio and San Antonians but we do need this reimbursement from the federal government,” Viagran said.

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