August 8, 2022

The Defense Department has denied D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s request for the National Guard to assist an immigrant flow set up by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to move immigrants into the city, according to a letter reviewed by NBC News.

The letter, from the Defense Department’s executive secretary, said the city had enough FEMA funding given to nonprofits in the capital that could provide immigrants with shelter and other services.

“After careful consideration, the department has concluded that it cannot accommodate your request,” Kelly Boliner-Hawley told Christopher Rodriguez, director of the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

“I understand that a non-governmental organization, SAMU First Response, has received federal grant funding through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program by FEMA for this mission. It is worth noting that this program complements funding for humanitarian relief efforts by government and social service organizations for the purposes of providing shelter and support services. for families and individuals.

Abbott, a Republican who is highly critical of the Biden administration’s border policies, began sending immigrants on buses paid by Texas taxpayers to Washington, D.C. in April. On Friday, he began sending immigrants to New York City, too.

DHS officials say Abbott’s involvement has complicated their usual processing of immigrants at the border, where immigrants are usually given notices to appear in court and pay for transportation to cities where they will attend their immigration procedures. In most cases, immigrants choose cities based on where their family members or other sponsors can live with them while they await a decision in their immigration case.

Didi Martinez And the Dan de los Contributed.

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