The Defense Department rejected a request from Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser for the National Guard to help deal with the influx caused by Texas and Arizona busing migrants to the nation’s capital, NBC News reported.
The decision was announced in a letter from the executive secretary of the Defense Department. The letter, reviewed by NBC News, said the city has sufficient funding under the Federal Emergency Management Agency that has been given to nonprofits in D.C. that can provide immigrants with shelter and other services.
"After careful consideration the Department has concluded it cannot fulfill your request," Kelly Bulliner Holly told Christopher Rodriguez, director of D.C.’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.
"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. 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."
Bowser had asked the White House in July for an open-ended deployment of 150 National Guard members per day as well as a "suitable federal location" for a mass housing and processing center, mentioning the D.C. Armory as a logical candidate.
The crisis was sparked in the spring when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced plans to send busloads of migrants to Washington, as a result of President Joe Biden's decision to lift a pandemic-era emergency health order that restricted migrant entry numbers.
Since then the city estimates that nearly 200 buses have arrived, delivering more than 4,000 migrants to Union Station, often with no resources.
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