Pentagon rejects DC mayor’s request for Nationwide Guard to assist migrants arriving in nation’s capital



CNN

The Pentagon has rejected Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s request for US National Guard assistance. assistance to migrants arriving in the city by busaccording to a US defense official.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin rejected the request because the Defense Department “determined that providing this support would negatively impact the readiness of the DCNG and negatively impact the organization and members,” the official said.

The official said grant funding through FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program is sufficient. “It is our understanding that SAMU First Response has received grant funding under FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program and has indicated that there are currently sufficient EFSP funds to provide assistance to migrants.

Bowser told reporters Friday, “I’ve had a chance to read that letter, and it looks like we can send a revised request.”

“The Ministry of National Defense has highlighted a few things – concerns about the open-ended nature of our request and the ability to respond to it. So I want to give them more specific parameters so that they can better respond to our request,” she continued.

CNN reported earlier that more than 5,100 migrants from Texas arrived in Washington on more than 135 buses, according to the office of Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott.

The city helped the Federal Emergency Management Agency with a $1 million grant, the mayor said at a news conference last week.

But in recent weeks, city officials and non-governmental organizations have grown increasingly concerned about the pace of arrivals. The mayor’s office asked that the D.C. Armory, Joint Base Bolling, Fort McNair or another “appropriate federal location in the National Capital Region” be turned into a migrant processing center. A regional reception center set up to help migrants in Montgomery County, Maryland, remains open, according to the request.

“I’ve asked to deploy the Guard as long as we need the Guard to deal with a crisis that we expect will escalate,” Bowser said last week. “We expect that the number of people crossing the border seeking asylum will only increase. And we need to ensure that there is a national response, not an ad hoc, city-by-city, state-by-state response.

Bowser also highlighted the differences in D.C.’s situation compared to other states.

“We need to ask the president to use our National Guard, which we know can be very helpful in these logistical matters,” she said at the time.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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