Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser on Aug. 11 renewed her call for U.S. military assistance to deal with the surge of illegal immigrants the nation’s capital has encountered after governors of border states began busing the immigrants to the city.
The initial request for National Guard assistance from Bowser, a Democrat, was rejected by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a Biden appointee, earlier in August.
Instead of asking for an open-ended deployment, Bowser in the new request asked for 90 days of help, with a proposed reevaluation of the mission on Dec. 1.
If approved, Guard personnel would provide logistical support to the Washington government, helping establish and manage new sites to house and feed the illegal immigrants.
“The Guard is uniquely resourced to provide emergency logistical support,” Bowser wrote.
Bowser also wants the government to make the D.C. Armory or another federal site available as a “respite center” for the aliens, and to treat the immigrants like war refugees, referring to how the Biden administration has supported refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine in recent months.
“We can confirm that the Secretary of Defense received a request from the office of the Mayor of DC, but as this is a pending request, we are not prepared to comment on the specifics of the request at this time. The Secretary takes this request for assistance very seriously. He and his team are working through the details, and will respond to the mayor’s office as soon as a decision has been reached,” a spokesman for Austin told The Epoch Times in an email.
The spokesman said on Aug. 5 that the initial request was rejected because “we have determined providing this support would negatively impact the readiness of the DCNG and have negative effects on the organization and members.”
DCNG stands for D.C. National Guard.
Washington’s mayor cannot deploy the guard, but can ask the federal government to deploy personnel.
Washington Attorney General Karl Racine on Thursday said his office would start offering grants to local groups providing humanitarian assistance to the illegal immigrants, who are being transported to the District of Columbia by Texas and Arizona officials who are fed up with the surge in illegal immigration that has occurred under President Joe Biden.
“The decision by the Governors of Texas and Arizona to bus asylum-seeking migrants to the District is causing a humanitarian crisis. The organizations and individuals who have shouldered the burden of providing basic needs and services—including housing, food, transportation, and legal assistance—are understandably strained and simply cannot be expected to carry this responsibility alone,” Racine, a Democrat, said in a statement.
“Building on our office’s strong track record of standing up for immigrants and reducing potential risks to public safety, we are pleased to offer grants in response to calls for additional resources and to assist this vulnerable population,” he added.
At least 4,000 immigrants have been bused to Washington since April, when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, ordered Texas authorities to start taking immigrants who accepted the offer of transportation to the nation’s capital.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, also a Republican, soon followed suit.
Texas recently started taking some of the immigrants to New York City, where Democrat authorities have also asked for federal assistance due to having support programs overwhelmed.