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Pentagon doubles down on refusal to process DC migrant arrivals — Analysis

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s request was denied again as she was told such a task would be inappropriate for the National Guard

In a Tuesday letter, Pentagon Executive Secretary Kelly Bulliner Holly stated that Washington DC’s National Guard would not assist in housing the illegal immigrant buses sent by Arizona and Texas governors to Washington DC. This is the second time the Guard has denied Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plea for assistance. 

The DC guard “This person has not had any training in this area or specific skills to provide ground support, facility management, food, and sanitation services.,” the official explained. The agency’s response also reiterated its argument earlier this month that deploying the Guard to manage migrants would negatively affect the division’s readiness. Also, the secretary vetoed using the DC Armory as a place to accommodate the new arrivals. 

Holly stated that there are many non-governmental organizations that can help with the issue of migrants and suggested that the municipality could directly apply for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA (if an actual emergency exists). 

Bowser responded with a tweet explaining the city would “Move forward in our plans to ensure that DC is a safe and welcoming place for people traveling to DC.,” implying that the new arrivals would merely be passing through the city. 




DC is not the only ‘blue’ city to have its sanctuary policy stretched thin. New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ administration has struggled to defend its response to the steady stream of new arrivals trickling in to the Port Authority by bus, with the New York Times saying the city’s early response was marked by “flailing and missteps.”

Manuel Castro, New York City’s Commissioner for Immigration Affairs, defended Castro to NBC Monday. He also blamed the Texas governor for failing to inform Adams in advance that he was rerouting migrants towards his state. “Governor Abbott is making this difficult for us as well as other cities,” he complained. 

While Castro insisted the city had gotten its response in order, putting together “A coalition of non-profit organizations” to provide food, shelter and “All types of services,” its shelter system remains dramatically overburdened. 

Before the Times’ criticism, Adams had threatened Abbott with his own political stunt, promising to fill up several buses with New Yorkers and drive down to Texas to campaign against the governor’s reelection.

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