D.C. Mayor Asks Federal Government For Migrant Help After First Request Denied

The Democratic mayor of Washington D.C. is once again asking the federal government to help her city as it deals with a wave of migrants arriving from the southern border.

In a letter sent Thursday, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser claimed her city was on the cusp of a “prolonged humanitarian crisis” and needed support from the D.C. National Guard to handle the continued arrival of migrants.

“The District of Columbia writes to provide additional information to support our July 19 request to deploy the DC National Guard (DCNG) to help prevent a prolonged humanitarian crisis in our nation’s capital resulting from the daily arrival of migrants in need of assistance,” Bowser wrote to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Bowser’s original request for National Guard troops was denied by the Defense Department last Friday. In a statement, the DOD claimed deploying National Guard members to support the city would “negatively impact the readiness of the DCNG.”

The statement also pointed to assistance D.C. had already received from federal programs like FEMA, arguing that the city had more than enough resources to deal with its migrant problem.

In her letter Thursday, Bowser said the government’s response had “failed to demonstrate an understanding of the urgent staffing and logistical challenges” that were motivating her request for assistance.

“We need help from our federal partners as we seek to stabilize and manage our operating environment in this critical moment,” Bowser wrote.

D.C.’s migrant problem largely stems from the programs implemented by the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona earlier this year, which have sent dozens of charter buses filled with migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border to Washington D.C. and, more recently, New York City.

While Bowser and New York City Mayor Eric Adams have characterized Texas and Arizona’s bus programs as “horrific” political demonstrations which use migrants as pawns, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he wouldn’t have to start such a program if the Biden administration would take steps to fortify the southern border.

“If [Adams] wants a solution to this crisis, he should call on President Biden to take immediate action to secure the border,” said Abbott press secretary Renae Eze.