Military Families Displaced by Hotel Cancellations

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, to examine the FBI "Crossfire Hurricane" investigation. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP)

The Army-Navy Game, an annual event that brings together military families to honor the next generation of servicemembers, is facing controversy this year due to the Biden administration's handling of the border crisis. According to Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa, hotels in Foxboro, Massachusetts, where the game is set to take place, are canceling reservations made by military families to make room for migrants being housed by the state.

In a letter to President Biden, Ernst demanded action be taken to address the situation. She criticized the administration for its failure to secure the southern border, which has resulted in nearly eight million illegal immigrants entering the country. As a result, veterans, military families, and future servicemembers, who have saved and scrimped to attend the game, will now be unable to do so.

The cancellation of hotel reservations has caused outrage among military families. Mark Mansbach, the owner of New Jersey-based Hillsdale Travel who has been providing hotel accommodations for these families for 20 years, stated that he has never seen anything like this before. Mansbach, whose father was a first lieutenant in the 552nd Field Artillery Battalion, has a website dedicated to providing military discounts for the game. He revealed that nearly 60 combined rooms from different hotels have been canceled, leaving these families in a desperate scramble to find alternate accommodations.

In addition to the inconvenience caused to military families, Ernst also highlighted the importance of the Army-Navy Game as a recruitment mechanism and a way to honor America's finest young servicemembers. She emphasized that the game gives attendees, many of whom are veterans themselves, the opportunity to showcase and celebrate the next generation of fighters. With hotels being taken over by migrants, this year's game is at risk of losing its significance and purpose.

The issue of migrant housing in Massachusetts has been a contentious one. The state's "right to shelter" law ensures that migrants and homeless families have somewhere to live. However, with the influx of migrants in the state, resources are being stretched beyond capacity. This has resulted in the displacement of military families, a situation that Ernst finds "flatly unacceptable."

Ernst's push for tighter border security comes as Republicans and Democrats continue to negotiate a deal for Biden's $106 billion national security supplemental request. GOP lawmakers have been urging for higher standards for asylum seekers at the southern border to be included in the deal. However, Democrat lawmakers seem uninterested in policy changes and are only considering funds to speed up asylum processing at the border.

As the controversy over the Army-Navy Game continues, military families are left in limbo, desperately searching for alternative accommodations. It remains to be seen whether the Biden administration will take decisive action to address the issue and ensure that these families and veterans are not displaced due to the ongoing border crisis.

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