Humanitarian groups in Washington, D.C., could receive up to $50 million in additional aid to assist migrants being bused from southern border states under a proposed bill from congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).
The proposed bill would bolster the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program by providing an additional $50 million to go toward humanitarian assistance for migrants arriving in D.C. Congress has already allocated $150 million to the EFSP for migrant aid for the current fiscal year, with about $85 million remaining in that fund as of July 21.
“The governors of Texas and Arizona are exploiting and harming desperate and vulnerable people fleeing dangerous situations in their home countries for political gain,” Norton said in a statement. “I commend the work organizations in D.C. and the National Capital Region have done to assist these migrants, but more funding is needed to assist these families.”
If passed, the legislation would provide additional federal assistance after the Defense Department twice rejected requests from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to deploy National Guard troops to the district. Bowser’s request was denied in part because the department argued the city already has sufficient funds from FEMA that could be used to shelter the immigrants and provide necessary resources.
However, Norton contended the influx of migrants to Washington, D.C., and New York has increased funding requests beyond what the EFSP has available.
“Supplemental funding would ensure that the EFSP can continue to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants,” Norton said. “I strongly urge my colleagues to support this bill.”
More than 6,000 migrants have been transported to Washington under initiatives by Govs. Greg Abbott (R-TX) and Doug Ducey (R-AZ), who are protesting what they claim is the Biden administration’s refusal to acknowledge a border crisis.