Bowser Declares ‘Public Emergency’ as Migrants Continue Being Bused to DC

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday declared a public emergency regarding thousands of migrants being bused to the city from Texas and Arizona. Bowser said the city will establish an Office of Migrant Services to help those arriving in the city.

This comes after the Pentagon twice rejected a request from D.C. seeking the National Guard’s assistance in what Bowser has called a “growing humanitarian crisis.”

According to Bowser’s office, “the Office of Migrant Services will provide support with reception, respite, meals, temporary accommodations, urgent medical needs, transportation, connection to resettlement services and other needs as they are determined.”

“With this plan, we are staying true to our D.C. values and building a system that will support a compassionate, consistent, and well-coordinated response,” said Bowser. “This is a new challenge for D.C., but I feel confident that if we lead with our values, and if we put the right systems in place –– which we are doing with the Office of Migrant Services, then we will lead a response that makes our community proud.”

To establish the office, the mayor declared a public emergency and announced that she will send emergency legislation to the Council of the District of Columbia to support the new framework. She said this comes after at least 9,400 migrants have been sent to D.C. since April.

Bowser said the District is allocating an initial $10 million to set up the Office of Migrant Services and support organizations working in the field and will seek reimbursement from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

In regards to not being granted her request for the National Guard or a federal site, Bowser said she was “very disappointed.”

“The crisis at the border is not lessening, it’s getting worse,” Bowser expressed.