Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) asked the D.C. National Guard to activate and help manage an influx of migrants to the capital.
The mayor’s office reports that Texas Govs. Greg Abbott (R) and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) have sent nearly 200 buses carrying more than 4,000 migrants from the southern border to the capital in protest of President Biden’s immigration policy.
In a July 22 letter obtained by The Hill sent from Bowser to White House officials, the mayor called the influx of migrants “cruel political gamesmanship from the Governors of Texas and Arizona” and called for federal support of her request to engage the National Guard.
“Our ability to assist people in need at this scale is very limited. Instead of rolling up their sleeves and working with the Biden/Harris Administration on a real solution, Governors Abbot and Ducey have decided to use desperate people to score political points,” Bowser wrote.
In her request for the administration’s assistance, Bowser noted that the governors were bussing migrants to the capital to take a stand against the federal government, which D.C. houses, “not because Washington DC is their destination.”
Already dealing with issues like homelessness and emerging crises like the monkeypox outbreak in the city, the District is now “overwhelmed” by the surge of migrants, D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Director Christopher Rodriguez wrote in a July 19 letter obtained by The Hill, requesting the National Guard on Bowser’s behalf.
“With pledges from Texas and Arizona to continue these abhorrent operations indefinitely, the situation is dire, and we consider this a humanitarian crisis—one that could overwhelm our social support network without immediate and sustained federal intervention,” Rodriguez wrote.
The request would ask the National Guard to aid NGOs and help with migrant transportation, assisting in ways “not dissimilar to the use of military personnel and facilities for other humanitarian missions, including assisting Afghan refugees,” the letter stated.
The National Guard’s work in the capital, if approved, would continue “indefinitely,” according to the request.