D.C. Mayor declares humanitarian crisis, pleads for National Guard as migrants bus to capitol
Mayor Muriel Bowser’s request is in response to a surplus of migrants from Arizona and Texas.
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In a letter addressed to the federal government and President Joe Biden, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser solicited the National Guard’s intervention following a stark increase of buses containing migrants flooding into Washington D.C.
“Our collective response and service efforts have now become overwhelmed,” said the Democratic Mayor, saying the increased volume of arrivals has reached a “tipping point.”
The flood of migrants is not by coincidence, however, and was a deliberate action by Texas Governor Greg Abbot and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. It came in response to the Biden administration’s reversal of a Trump-era border policy, allowing migrants to seek asylum in the U.S.
Title 42 was a reactionary COVID policy, which halted migrations at the border.
"By busing migrants to Washington, D.C., the Biden Administration will be able to more immediately meet the needs of the people they are allowing to cross our border," Abbott said in a statement in April.
Ducey quickly followed suit and began busing migrants directly to Washington D.C. with no processing, effectively diverting arrival and management operations with no guidelines.
Reuters reported that Texas has bused approximately 6,000 migrants as of April, while Arizona has sent 1,000.
Additionally, there is speculation of migrant buses being sent to New York, while stressing an overstretched shelter system without the capacity to handle the surplus of arrivals. Both Abbott and Ducey have denied this claim.
“Mayor Adams should check with President Biden if his administration is the one dumping migrants in his city, as they’ve been doing to Texas border towns for months,” Abbott Press Secretary Renae Eze told the New York Post.
“To be clear, I recognize the magnitude of this request. But the governors of Texas and Arizona are making a political statement to the federal government,” Bowser said in the letter.
A response is yet to be seen from the federal government, but pressure around immigration issues is indisputable.
Just last week, Voces de la Frontera, D.C.-based immigration advocacy peacefully gathered in protest outside DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ home in response to the administration’s handling of current immigration policies.
"Harris gave her word to us in these meetings that she and Biden would end the 287(g) program if elected, knowing that Wisconsin votes would be the difference between winning or losing the General Election,” said organizer Karine Sánchez.
Protests subsided the same day, but the group signaled a quick return.
Neither Mayorkas nor the Biden administration has commented on the matter, but pressure mounts as several states feel the strain of the country’s fragmented immigration infrastructure.