Washington DC AG unveils grant program to address migrant ‘humanitarian crisis’

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Washington DC‘s Attorney General on Thursday unveiled a grant program to address what city officials have described as a “humanitarian crisis” over bus travel by thousands of migrants from Texas and Arizona.

Attorney General Karl Racine’s office says it recognizes the current situation, which has sent thousands of migrants into the city, “as a risk to public safety and [a] humanitarian crisis that requires immediate financial support for local non-profit organizations that are running out of resources.”

Texas and Arizona have sent thousands of migrants to the nation’s capital since the spring. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently said Texas voters are “sick” of border chaos under the Biden administration.

“And that’s exactly why we’re sending these illegal immigrants to places like Washington, DC and New York City,” he said.

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A waiver form given to the migrants says Washington DC “serves as the capital of the United States and members of Congress and the President of the United States are more directly able to meet the needs of migrants who have entered the country.”

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

But it has drawn an angry backlash from officials in those two cities, who warned of the stress placed on their social services by the many migrants — despite representing only a fraction of the more than 200,000 migrants who have seen the border every month for the past four months .

Venezuelan migrants who boarded a bus in Del Rio, Texas, disembark within sight of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, August 2, 2022.
(STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

“The decision by the governors of TX and AZ to bus migrant asylum seekers into the district is causing a humanitarian crisis and we are responding to the call for help,” Racine said in a statement.

The program will offer money to nonprofits that Racine said are on the front lines and have “taken on the burden of providing basic needs and services — including shelter, food, transportation and legal aid.”

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

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’s the latest move by DC officials to combat what they’ve dubbed a crisis — even if the Biden administration has shied away from using that term for the entire borderline situation.

Mayor Muriel Bowser has called on the federal government to step up and offer more support – calling for the DC Armory to be used as a processing center and National Guard resources used to help migrants arrive on buses.

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She also requested that the Department of Defense send in the National Guard — a request later denied by the Pentagon.

A White House official told Fox News Digital, “We have had constructive discussions 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, it is shameful and wrong for Republican governors to use desperate migrants as political tools,” the official said last week.

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