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Pentagon denies DC mayor’s request for Nat’l Guard over illegal immigrants: Report

Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser speaking at 2015 AFGE Legislative Conference. (AFGE/Flickr)
August 05, 2022

President Joe Biden’s Defense Department rejected Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s request for the DC National Guard to help handle several thousand illegal immigrants flowing into the city, a senior defense official said, according to Fox News on Friday.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin declined Bowser’s request because the Pentagon “determined providing this support would negatively impact the readiness of the DCNG and have negative effects on the organization and members,” the official said. 

“We understand SAMU First Response has received grant funding through FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program and has indicated that sufficient EFSP funds exist at this point to provide migrant assistance,” the official added, indicating that the Pentagon believes DC is receiving enough federal support for illegal immigration at this time. 

During a press conference on Friday, a reporter asked Mayor Bowser, a Democrat, if her request for the National Guard gives credence to Republican warnings of an overwhelming illegal immigrant crisis. 

“I’m not talking about anything that is political in nature as it relates to how I operate the district’s homeless services system. And I have done, regardless of Republicans in Texas or Democrats on Pennsylvania Avenue, what I need to do to run this city,” Bowser said. “And when we have a growing humanitarian crisis, that we expect, that the federal government expects, is going to only worsen, I have got to deploy the resources that I need to handle it.”

“And we need our national guard. If we were a state, I would have already done it. I would have deployed the National Guard,” she continued. 

Earlier this year, Texas and Arizona began bussing illegal immigrants to the capital city in an effort to relieve small border towns overwhelmed by the more than 1.7 million illegal immigrants who have already crossed the border this year.

The move is also meant to send a message to President Biden, whose lax border policies created the illegal immigrant crisis. 

In addition to the National Guard, Bowser said she needs a federal site where workers can assist “busloads” of illegal immigrants. 

“We also need a federal site, where if there’s going to be ongoing busloads of people who are stopping here on their way to where they’re going – which is not here – we need a site that the non-governmental agencies, NGO’s they say, can use to make that stop as humane as possible for people who are fleeing horrendous circumstances,” Bowser said. 

Bowser also appeared to accuse Texas and Arizona of tricking illegal immigrants into boarding buses bound for DC. 

“In many cases, they’re boarding buses having been lied to about what’s going to be on the other end. And they’re still not where they want to be,” she said. 

The mayor added that if the federal government won’t handle the influx of illegal immigrants, then “they need to at least get out of our way.”