Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Practical Solutions To Assist Cities and States Receiving Asylum-Seekers Across the U.S.
Press Release

RELEASE: Practical Solutions To Assist Cities and States Receiving Asylum-Seekers Across the U.S.

Washington, D.C. — In 2022, politicized busing garnered attention and concern for how states and local communities were managing newly arrived migrants and asylum-seekers. A new CAP report highlights practical solutions for local, state, and federal governments in response to migrant intake, explaining how busing can help migrants efficiently receive the support they need.

The uncoordinated busing and relocation of migrants and asylum-seekers from border states poses a new set of challenges to receiving cities and states that lack the resources and preparedness to meet the basic needs of the thousands of migrants arriving in their jurisdictions. Allocating greater resources and better coordination between all stakeholders could turn this crisis into an opportunity.

Some recommendations for local, state, and federal government include:

  • Increasing federal funds and resources for cities and states: The arrival of asylum-seekers continues to affect city and state resources, and funds must increase in order for migrants and asylum-seekers to have their needs met.
  • Increasing coordination between local jurisdictions and the federal government: Enhanced coordination can address the needs of migrants and asylum-seekers through safer and more efficient relocation administered by U.S. Department of Homeland Services (DHS) and the federal government.
  • Expediting work authorizations for recent arrivals: This would allow recently arrived migrants to better support themselves and alleviate the financial pressures that localities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) face in caring for newly arrived migrants.
  • Allocating funds for DHS to facilitate transportation: To ensure that receiving cities and states are well prepared for the arrival of migrants, it is crucial that the federal government is in charge of relocation efforts.

“While extremist politicians have used busing as a political stunt, if done appropriately, the relocation of migrants and asylum-seekers can be a great opportunity to help alleviate the pressure on border communities and transport migrants to their final destinations,” said Zefitret Abera Molla, research associate for Immigration at CAP and author of the report. “The federal government, and not individual cities and states, should be in charge of relocating migrants and asylum-seekers to ensure their needs are met when they arrive in these receiving cities and states and to allow the local communities to be better prepared for future humanitarian needs.”

Read the report: “Practical Solutions To Assist Cities and States Receiving Asylum-Seekers Across the U.S.” by Zefitret Abera Molla

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Julia Cusick at [email protected].

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