Defense Department rebuffs second request for the DC National Guard to be deployed amid migrant influx

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The Defense Department has once again denied Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser’s request for the D.C. National Guard to be deployed as an influx of migrants arrive in the city.

“The DCNG has no specific experience in or training for this kind of mission or unique skills for providing facility management, feeding, sanitation, or ground support,” Defense Department executive secretary Kelly Bulliner Holly noted in a Monday letter to Bowser, according to Fox News. “Approval of this request would also result in a substantial readiness impact to the DCNG,” Holly wrote. “Devoting the personnel or the facility for such an extended mission would force the cancellation or disruption of military training.”

This marks the second time that the Pentagon has denied the city’s request for D.C. National Guard troops to be deployed due to the migrant influx. As the U.S. continues to be inundated by massive numbers of migrants along the nation’s southern border, the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona have been busing some migrants to the nation’s capitol, though the trips are taken by those migrants on a voluntary basis.

In a letter last month, Christopher Rodriguez, the director of the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, requested the help of the D.C. National Guard on behalf of Mayor Bowser. The letter declared that “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.”

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After that request was rebuffed by the Defense Department, Bowser tried again. In an August 11 letter, Bowser wrote, “The District of Columbia writes to provide additional information to support our July 19 request to deploy the DC National Guard (DCNG) to help prevent a prolonged humanitarian crisis in our nation’s capital resulting from the daily arrival of migrants in need of assistance.”

Bowser tweeted on Monday, “We know that these unannounced buses are a politically motivated stunt, one that could very quickly lead to a crisis within our own systems. We struggle with a broken immigration system in our country, and we know that cities alone cannot fix it.”

“We will continue working with federal partners and local NGOs on the best way to set up systems that allow us to manage an ongoing humanitarian crisis,” she added. “And, of course, we will continue fighting for DC statehood so that, in the future, when the Mayor of DC says that we need the support of the DC National Guard, she has the ability to deploy the Guard.”


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