Washington, D.C.’s mayor is criticizing two border states for busing illegal immigrants to the nation’s capital, which bills itself as a sanctuary city.
Texas and Arizona authorities have for months been offering free rides to illegal aliens who have claimed asylum, citing a lack of resources in dealing with the immigrants and the hope that sending them to Washington will help convince President Joe Biden to increase immigration enforcement amid a record number of arrests at the border.
But Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, another Democrat, is not on board.
“This is a very significant issue. We have, for sure, called on the federal government to work across state lines to prevent people from really being tricked into getting on buses. We think they’re largely asylum seekers who are going to final destinations that are not Washington, D.C.,” Bowser said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on July 17.
“I worked with the White House to make sure that FEMA provided a grant to a local organization that is providing services to folks. But I fear that they’re being tricked into nationwide bus trips when their final destinations are places all over the United States of America,” she added.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, wrote on Twitter: “Welcome to our world, @MayorBowser. Now work with your party, your Congress, and your President to do something about it.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, also a Republican, did not respond to a request for comment.
Thousands of illegal aliens have been sent to Washington from the two states this year, beginning in April. Getting on the buses is a choice, according to officials in the states. But some of the immigrants complained to WUSA-TV that promises from officials before getting on the buses were not fulfilled.
Ana Karina Arce Polano, an illegal immigrant from Venezuela, told the broadcaster that she was told her family would be transported to Colorado via Washington, but that they didn’t up being offered transportation to Colorado.
“We arrived here with faith to give them a better life and it turns out that we do not even have a place to sleep and no way to get where we want to go,” Polano said.
Another illegal alien said she was told her family would be given a ride to Chicago after arriving in Washington, but that that has not happened.
“If anyone is being misled, we certainly want to know about it,” Ducey spokesman CJ Karamargin told WUSA-TV.
Sister Sharlet Wagner, executive director of the Newcomer Network, run by Catholic Charities, told NTD previously that most of the illegal immigrants were traveling to places beyond Washington.