WASHINGTON — Editor's note: The above video is from July 15, 2022.
The state of Texas said it is not responsible for misleading any migrants who voluntarily took bus trips to D.C.
Both Texas and Arizona have sent more than a combined 4,000 asylum seekers to D.C. by bus since mid-April.
Multiple asylum seekers have told WUSA9, at Union Station, that there were promised they would receive assistance to get another location elsewhere in the nation once they arrived in D.C.
However, those same migrants soon learned upon their arrival to the nation’s capital that that promise was false.
On Sunday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser discussed the issue on Face the Nation.
“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 said.
On Friday, a spokesperson for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said that Arizona did not mislead any migrants who got on buses in its state.
“If anyone is being misled, we certainly want to know about it,” said Ducey’s communications director CJ Karamargin.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office also said his state has not lied to migrants either.
“The only lie is the Biden Administration telling the American people that our border is closed. President Biden’s open border policies have created an ongoing humanitarian crisis, with record-high illegal crossings and deadly drugs like fentanyl flooding into our state,” Abbot's press secretary, Renae Eze, said in an email statement.
The Department of Homeland Security has not responded to WUSA9’s request as to whether any of its members misled migrants on the border.
Meanwhile, it does appear that D.C. has no plans to directly aid migrants who are bused up north. Last week, 10 members of the DC Council wrote Mayor Bowser a letter urging her to use District contingency fund toward the effort until either federal or philanthropic funding was identified.
The mayor commented on the council’s letter Monday.
“Before getting the letter I talked with [Councilmember Brianne] Nadeau, but I haven’t talked with anyone else since,” she said. “This is a federal issue that D.C. can't bear on its own. We need a federal response.”
The Mayor also said that she plans to focus DC's resources on helping DC residents who are homeless and making sure they have a place in the city's shelters.
Mayor Bowser said they're coordinating with the federal government, which has awarded $1 million in grant money to organizations working with migrant families.
However, one of those organizations, SAMU First Response, said per the grant, they are only allowed to fund travel expenses for 30% of the families -- many of whom tell WUSA 9 they do want to travel elsewhere.
Other groups, like the Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network said they have ended up funding a majority of those trips elsewhere.
SAMU told WUSA 9 last week that they're working with DC to find a larger space in the city to house migrants when they first arrive.