Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has rejected a request by the District of Columbia mayor for the National Guard to help accommodate migrants being bused to Washington, DC, after determining it would harm the troops’ readiness.
The Pentagon has concluded that providing the requested support would negatively impact the readiness of the D.C. National Guard and have adverse effects on the Guard and its members, a U.S. defense official said in a statement.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser had requested that the guard assist the non-governmental organization SAMU First Response “with the transport and reception of migrants arriving in the DC area,” the statement said. The official went on to note that SAMU First Response has received some federal funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency that is sufficient at this time for the group to continue assisting the district.
In April, Texas Governor Greg Abbott,to DC, initially in response to the Biden administration’s efforts to end Title 42, a pandemic-related emergency policy that allows border agents to quickly deport migrants.
“The Biden administration and many leaders in Congress have no idea of the chaos they have caused with their open border policy,”in April. He said government leaders should come to Texas to see for themselves the negative effects of this policy. “And if they don’t come to the border, I’m going to take the border to them in Washington, DC.”
Since then, Abbott says he has bused over 6,500 undocumented immigrants to Washington, DC
“They can’t deal with that one challenge and we deal with that number every single day. I have one thing to tell you and tell them, there are more buses coming as we gather at this conference today,” Abbott told Conservative activists at the CPAC conference in Dallas on Thursday.
A month after Abbott began busing migrants to DC, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, also a Republican, followed his lead and also began busing migrants to DC
“With Arizona community resources at all-time lows, and little action or assistance from the federal government, individuals who entered Arizona seeking asylum have the option of being voluntarily transported to Washington, DC,” he said in a news release at the time. “The transport will include meals and staffing and support on board.”
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, told Margaret Brennan furtherin July that receiving the migrants required a federal response.
“I fear that they are being duped into nationwide bus travel when their final destinations are places all over the United States…local taxpayers are not picking up the tab and should not be picking up the tab. And we really need a coordinated federal response,” Bowser said.