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Pentagon rejects D.C. request for National Guard assistance as thousands of migrants arrive

The Pentagon building, outside Washington, D.C.
Jason Reed
The Pentagon building, outside Washington, D.C.

The Pentagon has once again denied a request from the District of Columbia seeking National Guard assistance in dealing with thousands of migrants being bused to the city from Texas and Arizona.

A Defense Department letter reviewed by The Associated Press says use of the D.C. National Guard would be inappropriate and would hurt the overall readiness of the troops.

The Pentagon says it would force troops to cancel or disrupt military training. It also expresses reservations about putting uniformed military members in direct contact with migrants to provide food, sanitation or other support, saying the troops have no real experience or training for that mission.

The governors of both Arizona and Texas have so far bused over 7,000 people seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border to Washington, D.C. and New York City. The governors say they’re “bringing the border crisis to D.C.’s doorstep.”