Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a public emergency in response to Texas and Arizona's sending buses of migrants to the capital. The emergency declaration allows Bowser to establish an office that will provide services to the incoming migrants, Politico reports. “We are staying true to our D.C. values and building a system that will support a compassionate, consistent, and well-coordinated response,” Bowser said. D.C. will allocate $10 million to the new office and support organizations, and will seek reimbursement from the federal government.
The Office of Migrant Services will help the migrants, many of whom are expected to move outside of Washington. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, both Republicans, have sent thousands of migrants since April to cities including Washington, New York and Chicago that have limited cooperation with federal immigration agencies in order to protect undocumented people from deportation. The Democratic mayors of these cities have condemned the Texas and Arizona move as a politically motivated, man-made humanitarian crisis. Bowser’s office called the buses “a political stunt.” Abbott has defended his actions as a necessary measure, citing Texas’s challenges as a border state. Bowser has requested National Guard help with the migrants and was denied twice.