On Thursday, a number of Democrat mayors arrived at the White House to speak with federal leaders about the impact the crisis at the southern border is having on their cities, and request funding to help deal with the problem.
While members of the Biden administration did meet with the mayors, the president himself was notably absent, providing no answer as to why he decided not to show up.
According to the New York Post, the meeting was called for by Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
While Adams abandoned the trip to Washington, DC after one of his campaign fundraisers had her home raided by the FBI over alleged illegal contributions from Turkey, Johnson and Johnston were able to speak with White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients and senior adviser Tom Perez.
In an October 28 letter to Biden, the quintet called on his administration to do more at the federal level to assist their cities.
“To address this crisis without further delay, we are requesting an urgent meeting with you to directly discuss ways we can work with your administration to avoid large numbers of additional asylum seekers being brought to our cities with little to no coordination, support, or resources,” they wrote.
“We request an appropriation of $5 billion to cover the expenditures our cities have already incurred and to continue serving the growing number of people arriving in our communities.”
As the Post reports, Biden received a 10 am intelligence briefing at the White House, but had no other events on his schedule for the morning, calling into question why he failed to meet with the mayors.
When asked about the situation, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said “cannot speak to the $5 billion” request, but noted that Biden does want more funding for the border crisis to be approved by Congress.