The Department of Defense spurned Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s request for assistance from the district’s National Guard in handling an influx of migrants from Arizona and Texas — which she recently labeled a “humanitarian crisis,” according to multiple reports.
“After careful consideration the Department has concluded it cannot fulfill your request,” Pentagon executive secretary Kelly Bulliner Holly wrote to Christopher Rodriguez, director of DC’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, according to NBC News.
The DOD argued that nation’s capital already has sufficient funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to house and otherwise assist arriving migrants.
“I understand a non-Governmental Organization, SAMU First Response, has received federal grant funding via the Emergency Food and Shelter Program by FEMA for this mission,” Holly’s letter continued.
“Notably this program supplements funding for humanitarian relief efforts by government and social service organizations for the purposes of providing shelter and supportive services to families and individuals.”
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
The refusal comes 17 days after Bowser’s July 19 request, in which she asked for 150 DC National Guard personnel each day to ensure a “24/7 operation” in receiving the migrants, as well as the use of the DC Armory, or “another suitable federal location in the National Capital Region, for a temporary processing center.
At the time, Bowser revealed that “over 4,000 individuals arriving on nearly 200 buses” had arrived in Washington since April, when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey pledged to put migrants on charter buses to protest the Biden administration’s immigration policies.
“Our collective response and service efforts have now become overwhelmed,” Bowser pleaded.
“[O]ur homeless services system is already under great strain; and tragically, many families arrive in Washington, DC with nowhere to go, or they remain in limbo seeking onward destinations across the United States.
“With pledges from Texas and Arizona to continue these abhorrent operations indefinitely, the situation is dire,” Bowser continued, “and we consider this a humanitarian crisis – one that could overwhelm our social support network without immediate and sustained federal intervention.”
In remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday, Abbott boasted that his administration had sent more than 6,500 migrants to DC. Ducey’s office indicated last week that 33 buses from Arizona had transported approximately 1,262 migrants.
All of the migrants who have arrived on the East Coast have gone there voluntarily, since they are permitted to travel within the US after being processed by Customs and Border Protection.
Usually, when migrants are released from federal custody after crossing the border and evading expulsion, they are given paperwork which permits them to stay in the US as well as an order to appear in immigration court when their cases can be heard.
The Pentagon’s rejection of Bowser’s request also came the same day that Texas officially began transporting migrants to New York City.
Abbott confirmed the first bus, which carried more than 50 migrants, arrived in at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan Friday morning.
“Because of President Biden’s continued refusal to acknowledge the crisis caused by his open border policies, the State of Texas has had to take unprecedented action to keep our communities safe,” Abbott said, calling the Big Apple an “ideal destination” for the migrants as Mayor Eric Adams has touted New York as a sanctuary city.
While Bowser and Adams have complained of the migrant influx to their cities, Abbot invited the Democratic mayors to travel to Texas to see the border crisis first hand.
“I really wish they would [come down] because public officials across the country, they do need to realize the magnitude of the chaos created by Biden’s open-border policies,” Abbott told Fox News Thursday night. “They’re up in arms about a few thousand people coming into their communities over the past few months? Listen, in any one sector in the state of Texas, we have more than 5,000 people coming across [the border] in that sector every single day.”
“We’re full in the state of Texas,” the governor added. “Our communities are overrun, and I started busing people to Washington DC, when local officials could not handle the number of people that had come across our border.”