The Washington D.C. Council voted unanimously to approve legislation that would help migrants and the community. Last week, the council approved the Migrant Services and Supports Emergency Act of 2022.
The act authorizes Mayor Muriel Bowser to spend $10 million to establish an office, house, and to provide services to migrants. Bowser said the office will provide transportation, receive migrants, address medical emergencies, and provide food.
Additionally, the bill allows the city to staff Union Station 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The migrants are the result of Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey who bussed migrants out of their home state that borders Mexico. Migrants have been arriving in the United States seeking asylum.
Council Chair Phil Mendelson told reporters before the bill was passed:
“We have a rich panoply of services available to D.C. residents who are suffering from homelessness. That system will be quickly overrun if we continue to see bused migrants. And we want absolutely for the migrants to be treated humanely.”
Mayor Bowser released the following statement:
“Today, we thank Council member Brianne Nadeau and the Council of the District of Columbia for moving forward our effort to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis facing our city. DC is not a border town, but we will not stand by and let the actions of those trying to create instability for people seeking a better way of life. With the establishment of the Office of Migrant Services, we stay true to our DC values by creating a framework for providing support to individuals and families while ensuring our homeless services systems continue to support our DC residents.
As I have said before, what our country needs is for Congress to fix the immigration system. We also encourage the Administration to fulfill the requests of cities and states that are receiving buses and planes with no coordination or notification from those sending them.
We will continue to work closely with the Council and our partners to make sure that we are addressing this crisis with empathy and the utmost respect for those impacted.”
This video below provides an overview of the migrants coming from Texas into Washington. D.C.
Some worry that the bill provides services that are normally not available to Washington's homeless population.
The bill also allows migrants enrollment in DC Healthcare Alliance. This service is available for people with low income who do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid.
Washington council may have been under pressure as migrants were flooding the street of the home of Vice President Kamala Harris mentioned here.
Do you think this was a good move for Washington D.C. Council to provide funding for migrants?