News Releases

Murray Announces $5 Million in Additional Funding for Northern Border Law Enforcement

Jun 24 2009

Funding will provide critical support to strained border law enforcement

Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $5 million in additional funding to aid with border-related prosecutions in a 2010 Senate spending bill. This announcement comes following a major victory for the Northern Border Prosecution Initiative (NBPI) last week. 

"These funds will support northern border communities that are being crushed by the costs of policing and prosecuting border-related crimes," said Senator Patty Murray. “Border crimes are federal crimes, and I am committed to relieving the burden on northern border local law enforcement offices. Our border communities face serious challenges from fugitives and drug trafficking, and they deserve the resources they need to keep our borders safe.”

Southern border communities have had access to similar grants for years, and Senator Murray has been outspoken about this inequity. In March, she sent a letter to Attorney General Holder urging him to make funding available quickly to northern border communities.

The NBPI helps local communities pay for judicial, penal, and enforcement expenses that result from federal border-related crime, such as captured international fugitives and international drug trafficking. When the U.S. Department of Justice declines to prosecute these federal border-related crimes, that burden often falls on Northern Border communities to prosecute them under state law. 

The funding in the initiative is distributed by a formula payment based on the number of days from the time that the U.S. Attorney’s office declines to take a case until the day that the county/city resolves the case.  The Northern Border Prosecutor Initiative pays for jail costs, judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.

The funding was included in the fiscal year 2010 Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill, which passed in the Subcommittee today and will now move to the full Appropriations Committee. Senator Murray is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee.