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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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Border Crisis Comes to DC But Does Mayor Bowser Really Need the National Guard?



WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bus from Texas, sent by the state government to alleviate the stress of illegal immigrants coming to much smaller border towns and draining resources during the historic U.S.-Mexico border crisis, arrived near Union Station around 9 pm local time, transporting about 50 Venezuelan nationals. 

The migrants who spoke to Townhall said they illegally crossed the Rio Grande from Piedras Negras, Mexico, into Eagle Pass, Texas. The Del Rio Sector, where Eagle Pass is located, has become one of the busiest sectors along the southern border in terms of illegal crossings. After making it to the American side of the border, they turned themselves in to Border Patrol to be processed and released pending a future immigration court date. 

Since April, Texas state officials have offered the newly-released migrants the opportunity to take a one-way bus ticket to Washington, D.C., a move the state of Arizona has followed. The influx of people from the border coming to Washington, D.C., prompted Mayor Muriel Bowser to say she needed federal money to solve the problem and ask for the D.C. National Guard to be called to help process the new arrivals. 

After spending some time on Tuesday watching the process of the migrants coming to D.C., Bowser’s claim of needing federal money is in question. No one from the city of D.C. was there, from what I observed, to help direct people to Union Station. Only volunteers from different aid groups were there to greet the Venezuelans and provide supplies. Most people I spoke with said their final destination was not D.C., with some saying they were headed to New York City. One man said he was staying in D.C. to find work. Many in the group that I saw last night have likely already left D.C. by the time this article is published, as bus and train tickets are provided by the aid groups. Those remaining in D.C. for another day or two will stay in different parts of the city through churches and local groups.

A D.C. Metro police source told me the police department or any other city department that could potentially be involved in the handling of the migrants is not involved. The speculation is Bowser is using the situation to pressure the federal government to give the city money so it could be used for something that might not be directly related to handling the buses from Texas and Arizona. The National Guard would be pointless to “process” the migrants because they were already processed by Border Patrol before they were released, which is the whole reason for the border crisis in the first place: catch and release is back because the Biden administration changed immigration policy. 

In fact, it appears the idea to direct the buses to sites such as the D.C. Armory so the migrants could be processed there appears to now have been abandoned as I was told the fear would be even more buses from border states were arrive.

While certainly a spectacle for late-night users of Union Station, most people didn’t notice what was happening. Two men passing by didn’t even know about Texas sending busloads of people to the nation’s capital. 



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