Washington DC AG unveils grant program to deal with migrant 'humanitarian crisis'

Attorney General Karl Racine’s office says it recognizes the current situation, which has seen thousands of migrants sent to the city, “as a risk to public safety and [a] humanitarian crisis requiring immediate financial assistance to local non-profits whose resources are being stretched.”

Texas and Arizona have sent thousands of migrants to the nation’s capital since the Spring. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently said voters in Texas are “fed up” with the chaos at the border under the Biden administration.

“And that is exactly why we are sending these illegal immigrants to places like Washington, D.C. and New York City,” he said.

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A waiver form given to migrants says that Washington D.C. “serves as the capital of the United States and is where members of Congress and the President of the United States are more immediately able to help address the needs of migrants who have entered the country.” 

It also states that New York City “has been designated as a sanctuary city by its City Council, and is providing shelter and food to migrants who have entered the country.”

But it has provoked a furious response from officials in those two cities, who warned about the stress of the amount of migrants on their social services — even though they represent only a fraction of the more than 200,000 migrants that the border has seen each month in the last four months.

Migrants from Venezuela, who boarded a bus in Del Rio, Texas, disembark within view of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on August 2, 2022.

Migrants from Venezuela, who boarded a bus in Del Rio, Texas, disembark within view of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on August 2, 2022. (STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

“The TX and AZ Governors’ decision to bus asylum-seeking migrants to the District is causing a humanitarian crisis, and we are answering the call for help,” Racine said in a statement.

The program will offer money to nonprofits who Racine said are at the “front lines who have shouldered the burden of providing basic needs and services — including housing, food, transportation and legal assistance.”

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“We recognize that these nonprofits are understandably strained & simply cannot be expected to carry this responsibility alone. Without critical services, these vulnerable communities are likely to face significant harm, including potential threats to their safety,” Racine said.

The grants are up to $ 50,000 per grant per organization, with total grant funding not exceeding $ 150,000. Proposals must be submitted by next week.

It is the latest move by D.C. officials to combat what they have dubbed a crisis — even as the Biden administration has shied away from using that term for the border situation as a whole.

Mayor Muriel Bowser has called for the federal government to step up and offer more support — requesting that the D.C. Armory be used as a processing center and National Guard resources be used to help migrants as they arrive on buses.

She also requested that the Defense Department deploy the National Guard — a request that was later denied by the Pentagon.

A White House official told Fox News Digital: “We have had constructive conversations with Mayor Bowser and her team, and are committed to working with her and her team just as we do effectively with other local leaders.” 

“As we have said repeatedly, Republican governors using desperate migrants as political tools is shameful and it is wrong,” the official said last week.
 

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