DC Mayor Bowser renews Pentagon request for National Guard support to help with migrants
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) renewed her request on Thursday for the D.C. National Guard (DCNG) to lend support to migrants arriving in the city, after the Pentagon denied the request last week.
“I have been honored to work with the men and women of the D.C. National Guard many times and today we renewed our request for their assistance,” Bowser announced over Twitter.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin turned down Bowser’s initial request last week after determining that “providing this support would negatively impact the readiness of the DCNG and have negative effects on the organization and members.”
Bowser’s request was prompted by buses of migrants arriving in D.C. from Texas and Arizona, a program begun by Republican Govs. Greg Abbott and Doug Ducey in protest of President Biden’s border policies.
In the renewal, Bowser clarified that her previously “open-ended” request for assistance would begin August 22 and be reevaluated at the beginning of December.
The DCNG would work with the D.C. government “to help prevent a prolonged humanitarian crisis in our nation’s capital resulting from the daily arrival of migrants in need of assistance” by establishing and managing “respite sites.”
These sites provide migrants with support as they travel to a final destination, often outside of D.C.
The DCNG would assist with facility management, feeding, sanitation and ground support, according to Bowser’s letter.
Bowser added that she has requested support from the DCNG almost 50 times during her tenure as mayor, which began in 2015.
“Each time, these operational, apolitical requests have been granted. I have been honored to work with these men and women to keep our nation’s capital safe in times of great stress, and I take very seriously my responsibility to honor their service with legitimate, on-mission requests,” she wrote.