May 15, 2023 - News

D.C. struggles to help migrants amid influx

Migrants arriving in D.C. from Texas in August 2022. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

An anticipated influx of migrants at the southern border is further straining D.C.'s budget.

Why it matters: An estimated 150,000 people in Mexico are headed toward the U.S. as the migration restrictions known as Title 42 ended last Thursday, Axios’ Stef Kight reported from El Paso, Texas.

  • A humanitarian crisis has unleashed unprecedented waves of migration in the Western Hemisphere.

Zoom in: Hotels in D.C. that are temporarily housing migrant families are already filled to the brim. For the past year, many migrants have been arriving on buses charted by Republican governors.

By the numbers: The District has spent $15.1 million on hotel rooms, food, and other aid to migrants, the Washington Post reports.

  • The costs are estimated to rise to $52.5 million by October — as more migrants are expected to arrive in the region, according to the D.C. Department of Human Services.

The District already has a projected $1.7 billion budget gap over the next five years due to the pandemic’s economic effects, the Post reports.

What they’re saying: "I don't think anybody could tell you where we're going," council member Robert White told the Post, given that the city is contemplating tough budget cuts to services for the poor and homeless.

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