Pentagon denies DC’s request for National Guard immigration assistance

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon Refused Request from the District of Columbia What the mayor calls a “growing humanitarian crisis” caused by thousands of migrants bussing into the city from two southern states, seeking help from the National Guard.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has refused to provide guards and use the DC Armory to help bring immigrants into the city, according to US defense officials.

One official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the decision, which has not yet been made public, said the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s food and shelter program is funding the issue, and those funds are sufficient. It is shown that.

Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser I made a formal request to the White House last month With the free deployment of 150 National Guard members per day and a “suitable federal location” for large housing and processing centers, it cites the DC Armory as a logical candidate.

The crisis began in the spring when Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced plans to send mass immigration to Washington, DC. President Joe Biden’s decision to lift pandemic-era emergency medical orders Limit the number of immigrants entering the country.

Since then, the city estimates that as many as 200 buses have arrived, delivering more than 4,000 immigrants to Union Station.

A coalition of local charities is working to feed and protect immigrants with the support of a $1 million grant from FEMA. But organizers warn that both resources and personnel are nearing depletion.

“This reliance on NGOs is not working and unsustainable. They are overwhelmed and underfunded,” Bowser said in the letter. She repeatedly said the influx underscores the government’s ability to care for homeless residents and now requires a federal response.

Bowser lashed out at Abbott and Ducey, accusing them of “cruel political gamesmanship” and “decided to use desperate people to score political points.”

The mayor does not have the power to personally order the deployment of the National Guard, and the issue has become emotional in recent years as a symbol of the district’s substate status.

she limited authority On January 6, 2021, he played a role in the rioting at the US Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. Bowser was unable to deploy the District Guard immediately when it became clear that the Capitol Police were overwhelmed by the crowd. Time was lost and protesters rampaged throughout the building.