DC schools offer to help enroll migrant children

As D.C. continues to deal with thousands of migrants who have been bused into the District from Texas and Arizona, city school officials said they are offering to help enroll dozens of migrant children.

Of the migrants who have arrived so far, about 40 are school-aged, according to D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee.

“If migrant families decide to enroll, we’ll ensure that they have access to their neighborhood school,” Ferebee said. “We will ensure that students have access to the services they need.”

Ferebee said he was “confident” that the school system had enough Spanish-speaking teachers and staff members on hand.

About 7,000 migrants have recently been bused into the nation’s capital by the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona, as a way to protest the Biden administration’s immigration policies.

The GOP governors specifically object to the Biden administration’s attempt to lift “Title 42,” a pandemic-related immigration policy that allows authorities to turn away migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

This week, the Defense Department again rejected Mayor Muriel Bowser’s request for “logistical support” from D.C.’s National Guard.

The mayor’s office made a revised request this month after the Defense Department previously turned down a July 19 request. According to Bowser, it was because her first request was too open-ended; The Associated Press reported that it was because the Pentagon believed FEMA funding was sufficient.

Bowser’s Aug. 11 request was for a “90-day deployment” of National Guard members.

But in a letter Monday, the Defense Department said that D.C.’s National Guard would be “inappropriate to the task” regardless of duration, according to a copy of the letter reviewed by WTOP.

While governors don’t need federal approval to call up members of the National Guard in their state, Bowser needs Pentagon approval because D.C. is not a state.

In a series of tweets, the mayor said she would move forward with planning to ensure migrants have a “humane setting” when coming through the District en route to their final destination.

Meanwhile, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a bill in the House this week to provide $50 million in emergency aid for thousands of migrants being bused into the District from Texas and Arizona.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up