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Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a public emergency over buses of migrants that continue to arrive in the city from Texas and Arizona on Thursday.
Bowser’s emergency declaration will set aside funding to accommodate migrants as well as create the Office of Migrant Services. The OMS will be tasked with providing temporary accommodations, urgent medical needs, transportation” and other services for migrants.
“We’re putting in place a framework that would allow us to have a coordinated response with our partners,” Bowser said Thursday. “This will include a program to meet all buses, and given that most people will move on, our primary focus is to make sure we have a humane, efficient, welcome process that will allow people to move on to their final destination.”
“Regardless of the federal response — which I think has been lacking in some respects — that the District of Columbia would continue to work with partners to advance what we need and ensure our systems in D.C. are not broken by a crisis that is certainly not of our making,” Bowser added.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has sent dozens of buses filled with border-crossers to Washington, D.C., and New York City in recent months.
Abbott argues that border towns in Texas are overwhelmed, and those in power in D.C. and NYC should face the realities of the border crisis.
“In addition to Washington, D.C., New York City is the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city,” Abbott said in August.
Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has joined in on the bussing program.
Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams sent a “fact-finding” delegation to the Texas border earlier this week. The delegation met with border officials in Eagle Pass, Texas, where hundreds of migrants cross into the U.S. each day.
“Adams talked the talk about being a sanctuary city — welcoming illegal immigrants into the Big Apple with warm hospitality. Talk is cheap. When pressed into fulfilling such ill-considered policies, he wants to condemn anyone who is pressing him to walk the walk,” Abbott wrote in a New York Post op-ed.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated for clarity.