President Biden did not attend a White House meeting with Democratic big city mayors who were seeking $5 billion to finance local services for migrants released at the US-Mexico border.
Instead, top White House aids – including Chief of Staff Jeff Zients and senior adviser Tom Perez – met with two of the delegates, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Denver Mayor Mike Johnston.
Driving the news: The mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and Denver wrote to President Biden on October 28, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss ways to work with his administration and provide support, coordination, and resources to address the growing number of asylum seekers in their communities.
- They also requested a Federal appropriation of $5 billion to cover existing expenditures tied to the swell of migrants appearing in the once-sanctuary cities.
Duck and cover? It’s not the first time President Biden has chosen not to meet with officials criticizing his handling of migration. He previously opted out of a meeting with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in August.
- New York City Mayor Eric Adams was scheduled to attend but abruptly canceled and returned to New York as the FBI raided the Brooklyn home of a campaign fundraiser.
- It is unclear if a representative for Adams or a member of his staff attended the meeting, which followed a rebuke from the leaders of five major US cities.
Funding fight: The Biden administration wants additional funding approved by Congress, although it is unclear if the $5 billion requested by the mayors will be granted.
- The White House had already requested $1.4 billion from Congress to provide shelter and services for migrants released from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) custody.