Sheriffs along the southern border who are dealing with the migrant crisis are aiming at Washington, D.C., for declaring a public emergency over the busing of migrants into the sanctuary city by Arizona and Texas — disparaging claims that the busing has turned the nation’s capital into a “border town.”
“They have seen nothing. They are not a border town. They don’t know what a border town is,” said Roy Boyd, Sheriff of Goliad County, Texas.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently declared a public emergency over the migrant buses arriving since April. Bowser said the move would allow the city to create an Office of Migrant Services to provide migrants with health care, accommodation, transportation, and other services.
“We’re putting in place a framework that would allow us to have a coordinated response with our partners,” said Bowser. “This will include a program to meet all buses, and given that most people will move on, our primary focus is to make sure we have a humane, efficient, welcome process that will allow people to move on to their final destination.”
Mayor Bowser is one of several Democrat mayors and officials of self-proclaimed “sanctuary cities” who have expressed alarm over the influx of migrants — which represent only a fraction of the number of migrants encountered along the southern border.
One member of the D.C. council sparked pushback when she proclaimed that “in many ways, the governors of Texas and Arizona have turned us into a border town.”
Since April, Texas has sent fewer than 10,000 migrants to Washington, D.C. Border Patrol has encountered more than 2 million migrants this fiscal year, with encounters regularly reaching or exceeding the 200,000 mark each month.
Border officials, sheriffs push back against cities’ protestations
Border officials and sheriffs who have been dealing with the crisis since shortly after President Biden took office has pushed back against the protestations by city officials.
“I think it’s all a bunch of political grandstanding, trying to get themselves some attention and squeeze a little bit of money out of the federal government or somewhere else that they can use for whatever they think it’s needed for,” according to Sheriff Boyd. “If they want to see what it looks like. They can come down here for us. It’s being shoved on us by the federal government and their policies and their lack of enforcement.”
Boyd is one of many border officials and sheriffs saying New York and D.C. are just getting a small taste of what they have experienced since the crisis began.
“‘ Welcome to our world’ is what they say,” said CEO and executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association, Jonathan Thompson. “Welcome to the everyday problems we are facing, and you have been ignoring and that you continue to want to blame someone else for,” Sheriff Boyd said.
“The sheriffs on the border right now are living this every day,” said Clint McDonald, retired Texas Sheriff and executive director of the Southwestern Border Sheriff’s Coalition. “And they’ve been criticized for asking for help with what they’re going through. And now that major cities are starting to feel this pressure, it seems to be a whole different scenario for them than it is for the people who live it every day.”
McDonald noted previous instances where sheriffs faced over 10,000 migrants, and “not one of the federal people came down to help with that. So, we don’t have sympathy for these people.”
Both sheriffs described border officials and agents as exhausted and overwhelmed from months of encounters exceeding 150,000 — and the continuing effects of the crisis.
“They’re overwhelmed,” said Thompson. “They’re overwhelmed trying to bring dead bodies and the remains of illegal aliens that are found in the desert. They’re overwhelmed in their communities with human services shortfalls. They’re overwhelmed with crime response. And they’re overwhelmed with just the sheer magnitude of things that need to happen to help care for people.”
“They’re upset about what is going on,” continued McDonald. “And this is what is happening for our people every day. So, the whole situation has got the border region upset, and we’re trying to survive day-to-day — then they receive a few of these people in their communities, and they’re screaming for help when our border sheriffs cannot get any help.”
Sheriff Boyd said he supported Governor Abbott’s move, saying it has made the border crisis, which he believes has been largely ignored, back into the forefront.
“It was a brilliant move on the part of Governor Abbott in order to ensure that the word began to spread through channels that previously had ignored the problem,” said Boyd.
Thompson urged New York and D.C. to stop blaming border states and focus on the Biden administration. “We finally now have cities and communities that are experiencing real pain, real suffering, and they want to blame someone else. Well, they should pick up the phone and dial [The White House]. Talk to the president… That’s who owns the policy, that’s whose policy it is, and that’s what’s directing the surge.”
Boyd continued, “The people on the border realize that this is not a red issue, and it’s not a blue issue. It’s a red, white, and blue issue. And it’s time America takes care of Americans. And right now, we’re just not doing that.”