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National Guardsmen were forced out of the Capitol building to rest in a parking garage

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According to a POLITICO report published Thursday, thousands of National Guardsmen were ordered to leave the Capitol building and rest in a nearby parking garage without internet reception, with just one electrical outlet and one bathroom for 5,000 troops.

The guardsmen, who had been resting inside the Capitol building between 12-hour shifts, were told they could no longer use the Capitol building as a rest area after protecting the nation’s capital in the days leading up to the presidential inauguration.

“Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service,” a guardsman told POLITICO. “Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage. We feel incredibly betrayed.”

After the POLITICO article was published, many lawmakers took to Twitter to ask for answers.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) called the situation “unreal” and offered her office to be used as a rest area for the guardsmen.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted: “If this is true, it’s outrageous. I will get to the bottom of this.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) noted that the Capitol buildings remain closed to the public, “so there’s plenty of room for troops to take a break in them.”

By 10 p.m., Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) said the situation was “being resolved” and that the guardsmen would be able to return to the Capitol building later that night.

“Just made a number of calls and have been informed Capitol Police have apologized to the guardsmen and they will be allowed back into the complex tonight,” added Sen. Duckworth. “I’ll keep checking to make sure they are.”

Brig. Gen. Janeen Birckhead, the Guard’s Inauguration Task Force commander, confirmed in a statement to POLITICO that the troops were out of the garage and back into the Capitol building late Thursday night.

The National Guard Bureau said the troops had been temporarily relocated because Congress was in session.

“The National Guard continues to assist and support the U.S. Capitol Police. As Congress is in session and increased foot traffic and business is being conducted, Capitol Police asked the troops to move their rest area,” the National Guard Bureau said in a statement. “They were temporarily relocated to the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Center garage with heat and restroom facilities. We remain an agile and flexible force to provide for the safety and security of the Capitol and its surrounding areas.”

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Immigration

BREAKING: White House announces mass-amnesty plan for illegal immigrants married to U.S. citizens

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An estimated 1.1 million illegal immigrants are married to United States citizens, and President Joe Biden just gave them a path to amnesty. The administration announced Tuesday that the sweeping executive action will provide legal protections in an effort to “keep families together” known as the “parole in place” program.

Eligible individuals will be protected from deportation and be provided with work permits if they have lived in the U.S. for at least a decade. They have three years to apply for permanent citizenship.

“President Biden believes that securing the border is essential,” the White House said in a statement. “He also believes in expanding lawful pathways and keeping families together, and that immigrants who have been in the United States for decades, paying taxes and contributing to their communities, are part of the social fabric of our country.”

National Review reports an estimated 500,000 people could benefit, and that Biden is expected to celebrate the executive action at a White House event celebrating the 12-year anniversary of former president Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which shields illegal-immigrant children from deportation. The new order will also make DACA recipients eligible for Obamacare.
The Biden administration is also crafting a plan to streamline the process for undocumented students and other illegal immigrants to receive temporary work visas, according to National Review which also notes that “although DACA has survived legal challenges up to this point, it’s unclear if Biden’s new executive action will have a similar fate, particularly given the composition of the Supreme Court.”

 

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