DC mayor’s request for help with influx of people bused from southern border remains unanswered

Nine days ago, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser asked the Secretary of Defense to activate the D.C. National Guard to help manage the influx of people being bused to her sanctuary city from the southern border from Texas and Arizona.

She’s still received no answer.

By July 18, the U.S. capital had encountered more than 4,000 individuals transported there on nearly 200 buses. She facilitated nearly $1 million in FEMA grants to help NGOs respond to what she described as a “humanitarian crisis” that’s reached a “tipping point.”

The regional welcome center the city established in Montgomery County, Maryland, was at capacity and its homeless services system was strained. The city facing a “dire” situation that “could overwhelm our social support network without immediate and sustained federal intervention.”

Bowser requested the DC Armory, or another suitable federal location in the National Capital Region like Joint Base Bolling or Fort McNair be used to house the arriving individuals and process them to move them to their final destinations.

“The mission would begin as soon as possible and continue indefinitely until the city relieves them,” she wrote in a letter to the Defense Department.

The governors of Texas and Arizona “are making a political statement to the federal government, and instead, their actions are having direct impacts on city and regional resources in ways that are unsustainable,” she argued.

But Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey argue the humanitarian crisis was created by the Biden administration and the 4,000 individuals Bowser complained about is nothing compared to the influx Texas and Arizona have been burdened with for more than a year. Abbott also recently said the number Texas has sent is greater than 5,500 and he’s not going to stop busing people to the nation’s capital.

While Bowser has complained that they’re receiving roughly 100 people a day, Texas is dealing with between 2,000 and 3,000 people a day, Abbott says.

Both Texas and Arizona have mobilized their state national guards to the border, costing taxpayers of their states billions of dollars.

In response to Bowser’s complaint, Ducy said Thursday that “Mayor Bowser is lamenting 4,000 migrants. Arizona had 43,570 border encounters in June alone.”

Abbott’s press secretary, Renae Eze, told The Center Square, “President Biden’s open border policies have created an ongoing humanitarian crisis, with record-high illegal crossings and deadly drugs like fentanyl flooding into our state.

“Border communities are overrun and overwhelmed,” she added, and the governor "launched the border bus mission … to help provide support to these communities pleading for help where the Biden Administration is dumping migrants. With our nation’s capital now experiencing a fraction of the disaster created by President Biden’s reckless open border policies that our state faces every single day, maybe he’ll finally do his job and secure the border.”

According to Customs and Border Patrol data, in just the two busiest sectors of Texas alone, Del Rio and Rio Grande Valley, agents apprehended 46,216 and 45,085 people, respectively, entering the U.S. illegally in June. They also reported 11,435 and 3,937 gotaways, respectively, in June. Gotaways are those who evade law enforcement after entering the U.S. illegally who intentionally don’t make immigration claims.

Since Biden’s taken office, more than 3 million people have been encountered-apprehended entering the U.S. illegally from over 150 countries, according to CBP data, excluding gotaways.

CBP doesn't report the number of gotaways publicly, but former and current Border Patrol agents who've spoken to The Center Square estimate the number is easily more than one million since Biden took office, resulting in more than 4 million people entering or attempting to enter the U.S. illegally.

In 17 months, that number is greater than the individual populations of 23 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

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