By Zachary Stieber
Washington’s mayor has asked the U.S. government to activate the National Guard to help the city deal with the illegal immigrants being transported from border states.
Describing the situation as “a growing humanitarian crisis,” Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters on July 28 that “we need space and we need the federal government to be involved.”
The guard would help with logistics, she added.
In a July 19 letter, D.C. Homeland Security Director Christopher Rodriguez asked the U.S. Department of Defense for D.C. Guard assistance “to help prevent a prolonged humanitarian crisis in the nation’s capital.”
The nation’s capital has received over 4,000 illegal aliens from the states of Texas and Arizona since April, when the governor of Texas first authorized transportation for the illegal immigrants who accepted the free rides. The governor of Arizona authorized the transportation of illegal aliens in May.
In the month leading up to the letter, “the pace of arriving buses and the volume of arrivals have reached tipping points,” Rodriguez wrote, saying the system could be overwhelmed without federal intervention.
A spokesperson for Bowser’s office told The Epoch Times in an email that there has been no response yet.
A spokesman for the D.C. Guard said that the force was aware of the request but referred comment to the Pentagon’s press office. A Pentagon spokesperson declined to immediately provide comment.
Only presidents have the authority to authorize National Guard deployment in Washington, and must receive a request from local officials.
The White House did not respond to an inquiry.
Meeting With White House
Bowser and members of her leadership team met with White House officials, including Liz Sherwood-Randall, the assistant to the president for homeland security, according to a July 21 missive that Bowser sent after the meeting.
Bowser said that the federal government should “assume leadership” in the handling of the illegal immigrants, including using a federal facility to house the aliens.
“I have great empathy for the very difficult situation people boarding buses to unknow[n] locations are facing. I likewise am very concerned that the social safety net I am responsible for ensuring for D.C. residents is maintained. I know the President shares my empathy, and I look forward to working with the Administration to secure the [National Guard] and a federal facility to process migrants as they seek asylum and a better life in the United States of America free of uncertainty and fear,” Bowser wrote.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, both Republicans, began offering illegal aliens seeking asylum rides to Washington earlier this year.
Abbott has said that the program is a way to confront President Joe Biden with the effects of his immigration policies; under the relaxed rules, illegal immigration has exploded to record levels.
“Washington, D.C. finally understands what Texans have been dealing with every single day, as our communities are overrun and overwhelmed by thousands of illegal immigrants thanks to President Biden’s open border policies,” Renae Eze, press secretary for Abbott, told The Epoch Times via email.
“If the mayor wants a solution to this crisis, she should call on President Biden to take immediate action to secure the border—something he has failed to do,” she added.
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