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23 Aug, 2022 18:23

Pentagon doubles down on refusal to process DC migrant arrivals

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s request was denied again as she was told such a task would be inappropriate for the National Guard
Pentagon doubles down on refusal to process DC migrant arrivals

The Washington DC National Guard will not help process and house the buses full of illegal immigrants that the governors of Texas and Arizona have been sending to the nation's capital, Pentagon Executive Secretary Kelly Bulliner Holly wrote in a letter seen by the media on Tuesday. This is the second time the Guard has denied Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plea for assistance. 

The DC guard “has no specific experience in or training for this kind of mission or unique skills for providing facility management, feeding, sanitation, or ground support,” the official explained. The agency’s response also reiterated its argument earlier this month that deploying the Guard to manage migrants would negatively affect the division’s readiness. The secretary also vetoed the use of the DC Armory to house the new arrivals. 

Holly added that there were plenty of NGOs helping out with the migrant issue and that the city could apply directly to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for funding if there truly were an emergency. 

Bowser responded with a tweet explaining the city would “move forward with our planning to ensure that when people are coming through DC on their way to their final destination that we have a humane setting for them,” implying that the new arrivals would merely be passing through the city. 

DC is not the only ‘blue’ city to have its sanctuary policy stretched thin. New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ administration has struggled to defend its response to the steady stream of new arrivals trickling in to the Port Authority by bus, with the New York Times saying the city's early response was marked by “flailing and missteps.”

New York City Commissioner for Immigrant Affairs Manuel Castro defended his boss to NBC on Monday, passing the blame to the Texas governor for not informing Adams ahead of time that he would be rerouting migrants to his city. “Governor Abbott is trying to make this as difficult as possible for us and other cities,” he complained. 

While Castro insisted the city had gotten its response in order, putting together “a coalition of nonprofit organizations” to provide food, shelter and “all kinds of services,” its shelter system remains dramatically overburdened. 

Before the Times’ criticism, Adams had threatened Abbott with his own political stunt, promising to fill up several buses with New Yorkers and drive down to Texas to campaign against the governor’s reelection.