The Department of Defense denied D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s request for the National Guard to assist with the influx of migrants created by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s busing of migrants to the city, according to a letter reviewed by NBC News.

The letter, from the executive secretary of the Department of Defense, said the city has sufficient funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that has been given to D.C. nonprofits that can provide the immigrants with shelter and other services.

“After careful consideration the Department has concluded it cannot fulfill your request,” Kelly Bulliner Holly told Christopher Rodriguez, director of D.C.’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

“I understand a non-Governmental Organization, SAMU First Response, has received federal grant funding via the Emergency Food and Shelter Program by FEMA for this mission. Notably this program supplements funding for humanitarian relief efforts by government and social service organizations for the purposes of providing shelter and supportive services to families and individuals,” the letter said. 

Abbott, a Republican who has been highly critical of the Biden administration’s border policies, began sending migrants on buses paid for by Texas taxpayers to D.C. in April. On Friday, he began sending migrants to New York City as well.

Department of Homeland Security officials say Abbott’s involvement has complicated their normal processing of migrants at the border, where migrants are typically given notices to appear in court and pay for their own transportation to cities where they will attend their immigration proceedings. In most cases, migrants choose cities based on where they have family members or other sponsors with whom they can live while they await a decision in their immigration case. 

Didi Martinez and Dan De Luce contributed.



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