Sep 8, 2022 - News

D.C. declares emergency over influx of migrants

Immigrants who were sent to D.C. on buses from the southern border walk toward Union Station in D.C.
Photo: Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a public emergency Thursday in response to thousands of migrants from the southern border being sent to the city on buses from Arizona and Texas.

Why it matters: Bowser blamed the "humanitarian crisis" on the two states' Republican governors who since April have bused about 9,400 people to the nation's capital in an attempt to draw attention to the influx of asylum seekers in border towns.

  • The buses of migrants have also gone to Chicago and New York City, with the liberal bastions struggling to meet the need with shelter and resources.

Bowser's declaration comes with a $10 million investment in a new D.C. Office of Migrant Services. The local department will help nonprofits and other groups that are straining to welcome and help the migrants arriving at Union Station, where city officials hope to have a 24/7 presence soon.

What they're saying: Bowser called the actions of the Republican governor a "stunt," and also criticized the Biden administration for not offering more support. The federal government has rejected the mayor's requests for the National Guard to be deployed to assist.

  • She added she is "very disappointed in not having a federal site" to house and process the migrants.

By the numbers: There are a total of 94 families and 348 people staying at D.C. hotels, Bowser said Thursday.

Between the lines: Bowser did not say if she has tried to directly reach Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey or Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

  • "We recognize that we don't know and we have no control on all that is coming toward the District," Bowser said.
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