Pentagon denies Washington’s request for help for National Guard migrants

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon turned down a request from the District of Columbia looking for Nationwide Guard help in what the mayor known as a “rising humanitarian disaster” sparked by hundreds of immigrants being bused into the town from two southern states.

Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin has refused to supply Guard personnel and the usage of the DC Armory to assist with the reception of immigrants within the metropolis, in response to US protection officers. Mayor Muriel Bowser mentioned Friday that the district could submit an amended and “extra particular” software, including that he believes that is the primary time a DC software for the Nationwide Guard has been denied.

An official, talking on situation of anonymity to debate a call that has not but been made public, mentioned the Federal Emergency Administration Company’s meals and shelter program has offered funding for the issue and has indicated that these funds are sufficient proper now.

Bowser, the district’s Democratic mayor, formally petitioned the White Home final month for an indefinite deployment of 150 Nationwide Guardsmen per day, in addition to a “appropriate federal location” for a mass housing and processing middle, citing the DC Armory as a logical candidate.

This spring, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, each Republicans, introduced plans to ship busloads of migrants to Washington, DC, in response to President Joe Biden’s resolution to raise an emergency well being order. of the pandemic period that restricted entry numbers. On Friday, Abbott mentioned the primary batch of immigrants from his state had additionally been bused to New York.

As of mid-July, about 5,200 migrants had been bused from Texas to DC since April. As of August 3, greater than 1,300 had been shipped from Arizona since Might. Governors name the apply a voluntary free trip, paid for by state taxpayers, that brings immigrants nearer to household or help networks.

However Bowser final month dismissed that characterization, saying asylum seekers are being “misled” as many don’t get shut sufficient to their remaining locations and a few are dumped at Union Station close to the US Capitol and the White Home. They typically arrive with no assets and no concept what to do subsequent.

On Friday, Bowser informed reporters that the Pentagon seems to be involved “concerning the open nature of our request.” and {that a} extra particular one would assist.

“We wish to proceed to work with the Division of Protection in order that they perceive our operational wants and be sure that political issues usually are not a part of their resolution,” Bowser mentioned, including that he believes the “disaster” will solely worsen. We want the Nationwide Guard. If we have been a state, I might have already finished it.”

A coalition of native charities has been working to feed and home the migrants, with the assistance of a $1 million grant from FEMA. However organizers have been warning that each their assets and workers have been close to exhaustion.

β€œThis reliance on NGOs is damaged and unsustainable: they’re overwhelmed and underfunded,” Bowser mentioned in his letter. She has repeatedly said that the inflow is stressing her authorities’s means to take care of its personal homeless residents and now requires a federal response.

Bowser sharply criticized Abbott and Ducey, accusing them of “merciless political playing” and saying that the pair had “determined to make use of determined folks to attain political factors”.

Explaining his resolution so as to add New York Metropolis as a vacation spot, Abbott mentioned Biden’s “refusal to acknowledge the disaster attributable to his open border insurance policies” compelled Texas to “take unprecedented steps to maintain our communities protected.” ”.

He mentioned the migrants are being dropped off on the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

“Along with Washington, DC, New York Metropolis is the best vacation spot for these immigrants, who can obtain the abundance of metropolis providers and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about throughout the sanctuary metropolis,” he mentioned. Abbott.

In response, Fabien Levy, a spokesman for Adams, tweeted that “Abbott’s continued use of human beings as political pawns is disgusting. New York Metropolis will proceed to welcome asylum seekers with open arms, as we all the time have.” finished, however we nonetheless want DC’s help.” .”

As mayor of DC, Bowsesr doesn’t have the authority to personally order the deployment of the Nationwide Guard, a problem that has turn into emotionally charged lately as a logo of the district’s entrenched standing as lower than a state.

His restricted authority performed a job within the January 6, 2021 rebel on the US Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. When it grew to become clear that the Capitol police have been overwhelmed by the group, Bowser was unable to instantly deploy the district guard. As an alternative, he missed essential time whereas the applying was being thought-about contained in the Pentagon, and protesters stormed the constructing.

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Related Press writers Ashraf Khalil in Washington, DC, Karen Matthews in New York Metropolis and Bob Christie in Phoenix contributed to this report.

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