The Pentagon rejected a second request by Washington, D.C., for the National Guard to be sent to the city to aid with an influx of migrants.
The National Guard is not prepared to handle the situation, which has been primarily caused by migrants bused in from Texas and Arizona in protest of the Biden administration’s handling of the border crisis, according to Department of Defense Executive Secretary Kelly Bulliner Holly, who also warned D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday. After his initial call for assistance from the National Guard was turned down on July 19, Bowser resubmitted his request on August 11 and claimed that the DoD lacked a firm grasp of the issue.
“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 a report letter. “Devoting the personnel or the facility for such an extended mission would force the cancellation or disruption of military training.”
Bowser’s initial request was denied on August 4 by Pentagon officials, who cited grant money the city had received from FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program as a means of redressing the issue.
In her second request, Bowser emphasized that she only asked for a 90-day deployment and stated that the National Guard might offer crucial logistical support to help relieve the city’s staffing issues amid the surge of migrants.
According to Gov. Greg Abbott’s administration and Fox News, Texas has bused nearly 7,000 migrants to Washington, D.C., and about 900 to New York City since April. According to Abbott, the action will assure that the “rest of America” can comprehend Texas’s predicament amid a spike in border-area migration. This year, Arizona has also begun busing immigrants to Washington, D.C. for the same reason.
In a tweet posted on Monday, Bowser denounced the action as a “politically motivated stunt, one that could very rapidly lead to a crisis within our systems.”
Despite the Pentagon’s denial, Bowser was sure that the nation’s capital would work with non-governmental groups and other federal agencies to help handle the immigration problem. For the mayor to “have the ability to deploy the Guard” the next time the city faces a similar crisis, she also emphasized her support for D.C. becoming a state.
“We are going to move forward with our planning to ensure that when people are coming through D.C. on their way to their final destination, we have a humane setting for them,” she tweeted on Monday. “We will continue working with federal partners and local NGOs on the best way to set up systems that allow us to manage an ongoing humanitarian crisis.”
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