The Pentagon has denied Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s second request to mobilize the National Guard to deal with an influx of illegal immigrants sent from southern border states after federal officials freed them.
Bowser, a Democrat, has now sent two letters to the White House and Pentagon asking for the Guard and describing the situation at the nation’s capital as a “humanitarian crisis.”
The first request was sent in July and rejected by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a Biden appointee, on Aug. 4. Bowser followed up with a second letter asking for 150 Guard personnel for 90 days. This was rejected on Monday by a Pentagon official.
In a letter to Bowser, Defense Department Executive Secretary Kelly Bulliner Holly said Guard personnel weren’t trained to assist immigrants and activation would lead to “diminished readiness” for the troops.
“The DCNG has no specific experience in or training for this kind of mission or unique skills for providing facility management, feeding, sanitation or ground support,” Holly wrote, in the letter obtained by Fox News, referring to the D.C. National Guard.
“Approval of this request would also result in a substantial readiness impact to the DCNG,” Holly added. “Devoting the personnel or the facility for such an extended mission would force the cancellation or disruption of military training.”
In an apparent response to Holly’s letter, Bowser said her government would “move forward” with plans to help the illegal aliens arriving in D.C. to move on to “their final destination.”
“We know that these unannounced buses are a politically motivated stunt, one that could very quickly lead to a crisis within our own systems. We struggle with a broken immigration system in our country, and we know that cities alone cannot fix it,” she wrote on Twitter on Monday.
In a follow up remark, Bowser described the situation as an “ongoing humanitarian crisis” and pledged to work with federal partners and NGOs to manage it.
Authorities in Texas and Arizona have been providing free bus transport to D.C. and New York for illegal aliens who arrive at the southern U.S. border and, as per federal policy, are released into the United States. This policy is commonly referred to as “catch and release.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office said on Aug. 19 that the state has transported over 7,000 illegal immigrants via bus to D.C. since April and over 900 to New York City since Aug. 5.
“Frankly, I don’t know of a larger crisis facing our country right now,” Abbott said in a statement. “Before we began busing migrants to New York, it was just Texas and Arizona that bore the brunt of all the chaos and problems that come with it. Now, the rest of America can understand exactly what is going on.”
Abbott also addressed criticism about sending illegal aliens to New York City, saying that it was a self-identified sanctuary city.
The Texas governor said that the Biden administration had been flying illegal aliens to New York long before Abbott put them on buses.
“What Texas is doing is just a fraction of what President [Joe] Biden was doing, but you never heard them complain before,” he told El Paso’s KFOX.