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For the second time, the Pentagon on Monday rejected a request from Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to activate the National Guard to assist with thousands of migrants who have arrived in the nation’s capital in recent months.
Bowser first asked for help from the National Guard last month, but was turned down by the Pentagon on Aug. 4. Then, on August 11, she sent another letter requesting the deployment of 150 National Guard troops to “solve a protracted humanitarian crisis in our country’s capital due to the daily arrival of migrants.”
Defense Department executive secretary Kelly Bullier Holly wrote in a letter to Bowser on Monday that the DC National Guard has not been trained to assist migrants and that activation would lead to “reduced preparedness” for the troops.
“The DCNG has no specific experience or training for these types of missions or unique skills to provide facilities management, nutrition, sanitation or ground support,” Holly wrote in the letter, which was reviewed by Fox News.
“Approval of this request would also result in a significant impact on the readiness of the DCNG,” Holly continued. “Deploying the personnel or facility for such an expanded mission would force the cancellation or disruption of military training.”
About 7,000 migrants have been bussed from Texas to Washington DC since April, according to Governor Greg Abbott’s office, and another 900 have arrived in New York City.
“Before we started transporting migrants to New York, it was only Texas and Arizona that suffered from all the chaos and problems that came with it,” Abbott said Friday. “Now the rest of America can understand exactly what’s going on.”
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Bowser called the bus transport of migrants a “politically motivated stunt” on Monday.
“We are struggling with a broken immigration system in our country, and we know that cities cannot solve it alone,” Bowser tweeted. “We will continue to work with federal partners and local NGOs to find the best way to build systems to address an ongoing humanitarian crisis.”
Texas launched Operation Lone Star in March 2021 to deal with the influx of migrants across the southern border.
Since then, law enforcement officials in Texas have detained nearly 300,000 migrants and seized 326 million lethal doses of fentanyl, Abbott said.
A migrant family sits after being processed in Roma, Texas, on May 5, 2022.
(Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
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The Pentagon also cited the work of several non-governmental organizations and civic groups in assisting the arrival of migrants.
Bowser’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.