Washington DC

‘We Are Suffering': Some Migrants Bused to DC Describe Worsening Situation

Dozens of migrants who came to Washington, DC, from Texas and Arizona have rooms at a Days Inn, but some say they've had to sleep in an alley outside

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As busloads of migrants continue to stream into Washington, D.C., on a daily basis, the city's homeless shelters are at capacity and some of the migrants say they are staying in hotels and, at times, sleeping on the streets.

The Days Inn on New York Avenue NE has become a temporary shelter for dozens of migrant families who came to D.C. from Texas and Arizona, families staying at the hotel told News4.

Migrants said they are seeking asylum and in need of help. Some said they have had to sleep in an alley outside of the hotel.

"If somebody could lend us a hand, we would be so thankful because this is hard. We are suffering. We are sleeping out on the street. We just got here. We don’t know the language. So we’re suffering a little," migrant Damian Ibarbin told News4's sister station Telemundo 44 in Spanish.

Telemundo 44 spoke to several families staying at the Days Inn, and some families were told they will have to vacate the hotel next week because the non-government organizations paying for their rooms have run out of funds.

“They were going to help us. My wife is pregnant, but she hasn’t seen doctor or received any kind of care. She hasn’t been to hospital. They haven’t given us an explanation. They told us today that we have one more week of staying here," one man said in Spanish.

D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser has requested the National Guard for what she calls a “humanitarian crisis.” News4’s Mark Segraves reports.


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"I arrived 10 days ago and now I want to start working. I want to succeed. I want to give my kids what I couldn’t give them in Venezuela," Rafael Landaeta said in Spanish.

The Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network, which represents more than 20 community organizations involved with providing support for the migrants, issued a statement accusing D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's administration of intentionally neglecting the migrants.

"Families, including infants, have been sent to various poorly equipped hotels around the city instead of being welcomed into the family shelter system, which has available space. In these hotels, families are not officially entered into the DC family shelter system and do not receive the services that should be provided, including being assigned a case manager, which would enable them to enroll in schools, health insurance, and receive medical treatment," the organization said.

A D.C. government official familiar with the migrant situation told News4 the city is providing assistance to some migrant families with children, including connecting them to medical services. The official said the D.C. government is working to coordinate efforts with various non-government organizations in an effort to keep hotels from evicting migrant families.

All of D.C.'s "low barrier" shelters for single adults are at capacity, the official said.

Bowser requested the activation of the D.C. National Guard to help with the "humanitarian crisis" in a letter to the office of the Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin dated July 19 and a second letter to White House aides dated July 22, but has still not received a response.

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