Democratic mayors ask for support to receive migrants

Two Republican governors of border states who are spending billions of dollars to curb illegal migration and spend hours in front of microphones lashing out at the policies of the administration of President Joe Biden have found indirect support from two unexpected sources: Democratic Mayors Muriel Bowser, from Washington, and Eric Adams, from New York.

Both mayors recently requested federal aid in response to moves by Texas and Arizona to move migrants away from the border, a practice that has been going on for several months and is an old political stunt, but with minimal practical impact. .

Although the mayors harshly criticize Governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona, their requests for funds have reinforced the governors’ narratives that migration is putting unusual pressures on American communities, even though Adams incorrectly stated Tuesday that the two states are paying migrants to go to New York.

Mayor Bowser of Washington says asylum seekers are being scammed with free bus rides that don’t get them close enough to their final destinations, leaving many stranded in Union Station near the U.S. Capitol and the White House.

This is a very important issue, Bowser said Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation.

Under pressure to provide financial support, Bowser says he wants the federal government to contribute. The city council informed the mayor last week that volunteer groups are exhausted and overwhelmed.

Now that the border has reached the nation’s capital, it is our responsibility to rise to the occasion, city council members wrote, berating Abbott and Ducey for not showing consideration for people exercising their human right to seek asylum.

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Republicans who have strongly criticized the White House have barely been able to contain their satisfaction.

It appears that Mayor Bowser is beginning to get a feel for what it’s like to be a border community under Biden’s immigration crisis, Republican members of the House Homeland Security Committee wrote. She doesn’t feel very well, does she?

Ducey seized on Adams’ misstatement that Arizona was sending migrants to New York by bus, stressing that he was only sending them to Washington.

Mayor Adams needs to get his data right and pay more attention to what is really happening, because the security of our nation depends on it, he wrote on Twitter.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday that the administration was heeding the mayors’ concerns. She said it was shameful that some governors use migrants as a political tool, as a political game.

The state of Texas has voluntarily bused more than 6,000 migrants to Washington since mid-April, at a time when Abbott casts himself as a counterweight to Biden on immigration, insisting that every American community is a border community. .

The Abbott-mandated bus transfers are just one element in an increasingly aggressive expansion of its measures to curb immigration on land traditionally the province of the federal government. This month, Abbott authorized state forces to detain migrants and return them to the US-Mexico border, where Texas has poured more than $3 billion of state funds into a massive security apparatus, failing to stem the flow of migrants.

Arizona says it has bused 1,151 migrants to Washington since May. About 25% said their final destination was New York, and about 20% said New Jersey, while many of the remainder were headed to Georgia or would remain in Washington.

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Border Patrol stopped migrants nearly 193,000 times in June, the first decline after four straight months of increases. Those figures, which are approaching the highest levels in two decades, show the minimal impact that bus transfers have had on migration flows.

The United States has been one of the top destinations for asylum seekers globally since 2017, according to the United Nations human rights agency, a huge challenge that has beset Biden, like his immediate predecessors Donald Trump. and Barak Obama.

A pandemic-related mandate denies many of the migrants the ability to apply for asylum on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19, but Title 42, as the measure is known, has been enforced relentlessly. uneven shape. Tens of thousands of people are released each month on humanitarian parole or notices to appear in immigration court.

Adams says that New York has seen a remarkable increase in asylum seekers in its shelters, of about 2,800 people in recent weeks, in a city that is legally obligated to provide high-quality help to the destitute. She called for an investigation into whether other states are sending their asylum seekers to New York.

In New York City, it is common to see asylum seekers in shelters as they settle down.


Lee reported from Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Associated Press reporters Elliot Spagat in San Diego; Paul Weber in Austin, Texas; and Bobby Caina Calvan in New York, contributed to this report.

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