DC Council Approves Bill to Create Office of Migrant Services

The Migrant Services and Supports Emergency Act of 2022 authorizes Washington, D.C., to spend $10 million on an Office of Migrant Services

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The D.C. Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve legislation to create an Office of Migrant Services to help the thousands of asylum-seekers the governors of Texas and Arizona have bused to the nation's capital. 

The Migrant Services and Supports Emergency Act of 2022 authorizes Mayor Muriel Bowser to spend $10 million to set up the office, which will provide services to immigrants and establish a temporary housing and processing facility. The office will receive migrants, provide transportation, give meals and address urgent medical needs, Bowser previously said.

Also included in the bill, is authorization for the city to staff Union Station 24 hours, seven days a week to handle incoming buses carrying migrants.

“Today, we thank Councilmember Brianne Nadeau and the Council of the District of Columbia for moving forward our effort to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis facing our city,” Bowser said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”

She said the establishment of the migrant services office creates the framework needed to support individuals and families while ensuring the homeless service systems continue supporting D.C. residents. 

“As I have said before, what our country needs is for Congress to fix the immigration system," Bowser said. "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."

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