DC Mayor Declares Public Emergency Over Flood of Illegal Immigrants From Texas

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
September 8, 2022 Updated: September 9, 2022

The mayor of the city of Washington has declared a public emergency over the influx of illegal immigrants into the nation’s capital.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the emergency on Sept. 8. The city has received some 9,400 illegal aliens from the states of Texas and Arizona, according to her office.

“Our response involves how can we live up to our values and make sure we have a humane, efficient process to deal with a crisis not of our making,” Bowser, a Democrat, told reporters during a briefing.

The declaration enables the mayor to establish a new office, the Office of Migrant Services, specifically to help the illegal immigrants arriving from the border states.

The office will receive an initial $10 million to establish the office, which will help nonprofits and others greet, house, and feed the illegal aliens. The city hopes to either use federal funding or be reimbursed for the spending.

The system overseen by the office will be separate from the city’s homeless response.

A new system is necessary “so that our homeless services system can continue to function in support of DC residents and so that we can properly respond to the ongoing humanitarian crisis and provide a humane assistance to migrants,” Bowser’s office said in a slide shown at the briefing.

Washington is a so-called sanctuary city, meaning it openly welcomes illegal immigrants and restricts cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

Ranae Eze, press secretary for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, told The Epoch Times in an email that Bowser is a hypocrite.

“In a city with a population over 700,000, she’s claiming an emergency for just over 7,900 migrants being bused into her sanctuary city,” Eze wrote. “That’s barely 1 percent of the population of Washington, D.C. The true emergency is on our nation’s southern border—not in our nation’s capital—where small Texas border towns are overrun and overwhelmed by hundreds of migrants every single day as the Biden Administration dumps them in their communities.

“Instead of fearmongering and complaining about a few thousand migrants in her sanctuary city, Mayor Bowser should call on President Biden to do his job and secure the border—something the President continues failing to do. Governor Abbott’s invitation is still open for Mayor Bowser to visit the border and see the actual crisis firsthand.”

Epoch Times Photo
In this image from video, illegal immigrants from Texas gather in Union Station after being transported to Washington, on April 13, 2022. (NTD Television)

Thousands of Immigrants

Texas and Arizona have been busing thousands of illegal aliens who were released by U.S. authorities to Washington since the spring. Approximately 9,400 illegal immigrants have been bused to the nation’s capital since then.

Most of them move on to other destinations, according to Washington officials. Many of the immigrants are being housed in shelters and hotel rooms.

Texas has also sent illegal immigrants to New York City and Chicago.

The Republican governors of Texas and Arizona, Abbott and Doug Ducey, respectively, say the busing will continue indefinitely. They have said they are trying to trigger a stronger response to border enforcement from President Joe Biden.

Bowser said officials thus expect hundreds more buses to drop immigrants off in Washington during the fall.

The mayor has repeatedly criticized the governors.

Bowser has twice asked the Department of Defense for National Guard assistance but has been denied both times.

“I’m very disappointed in that,” Bowser said on Sept. 8. “And I’m very disappointed in not having a federal site that we can use.”

She said conversations with the Biden administration are ongoing.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.