Skip to primary navigation Skip to content
September 21, 2020

Chairman Thompson Demands DHS Not Play Politics, Endanger Lives in Trump Effort to Deny Federal Funds to NYC, Seattle, Portland

“This decision jeopardizes the security of Americans to serve the President’s political agenda, and I urge DHS not to act on this improper designation”

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to the Honorable Chad Wolf of the Department of Homeland Security demanding he not act on the Department of Justice’s improper designation of New York City, Portland, and Seattle as “anarchist jurisdictions.” Withholding federal funds for political reasons would mean these cities would be without critical homeland security funding used to prevent, prepare for, protect against, and respond to acts of terrorism. Just ten days after marking the 19th Anniversary of the 9/11 Terror Attacks, New York City, according to DHS, remains a top terrorist target.

Letter excerpt:

President Trump’s Memorandum directed DHS and other Federal agencies to identify funding, including homeland security preparedness and response grants, that could be withheld from New York City, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Portland.  These cities are among the 32 jurisdictions DHS has designated for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) program, which provides grant funding to high-threat, high-density urban areas to assist them in building, sustaining, and delivering capabilities used to prevent, prepare for, protect against, and respond to acts of terrorism.  As the terrorist threat evolves, it is more important than ever to ensure our first responders have the resources necessary to plan, train, and respond effectively to emerging threats.  That critical goal will be fundamentally undermined by any arbitrary cuts in federal funding for jurisdictions that have obviously already experienced severe terror attacks and that, by DHS’ own assessment, are at high risk of further terror activity.

DHS has consistently ranked New York City as having the highest risk of terrorism in the Nation, and the New York Police Department relies on Federal homeland security grants to fund a large portion of its law enforcement and counter-terrorism operations.  It is unconscionable that the President would take Federal funding from U.S. cities that, again by DHS’ own assessment, require Federal assistance to build and maintain vital homeland security capabilities.  That President Trump would cut such funding this month, as we observe the 19th anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on American soil, is an insult to the memory of those who lost their lives on 9/11.  

Link to letter

#  #  #

Press Contact

Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978