Denver to Relocate 800 Migrant Families as Illegal Immigration Surges – Where Will They End Up?

Migrant families are being ejected from Denver city shelters as the ‘sanctuary city’ reaches capacity due to large numbers of asylum seekers and migrants.

140 Families Removed

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Earlier this week 140 migrant families were removed from their temporary residence in Denver, Colorado.

City officials have confirmed that another 660 families will be removed in the coming weeks.

Migrant Aid Withdrawn

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The city now seeks to reduce aid for arriving migrants, citing the strain it is placing on resources, services, and infrastructure that are intended for Denver residents. 

A Wave of Migration

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Issues with migration numbers have increased significantly in the last year, spurred on by Texas officials who have transported thousands of undocumented people from southern border towns to sanctuary cities across the country.

Shining a Light

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These resettlements have shone a light on the issue of record-high immigration into the U.S., and how it has stretched city resources to their limit.

A City Overwhelmed

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Shelters, hospitals, and all other accessible forms of temporary residence have been overwhelmed by the recently arrived migrant population in Denver.

Changes to Shelter Rules

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According to NBC News, Colorado state and city officials have put a cap on how long migrant families can stay in temporary shelters, which is a necessary move to accommodate the new groups that are arriving in the city every day.

Unsustainable Numbers

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Denver Mayor Mike Johnston has officially declared that the city is at capacity, and can no longer sustain more migrant arrivals.

Last week 3,813 undocumented migrants were recorded in the city limits with a further influx expected. 

Town Hall Meeting

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Last week a meeting was held in the Denver town hall, where Johnston addressed the issue.

“We have filled every single hotel room that we have available in the city and county of Denver,” he told attendees.

A “Terrible Decision”

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“Now we have the terrible decision that if we don’t start exiting folks, we will have 250 folks that will arrive today or the day after who don’t have anywhere to go at night,” he continued.

Reaching Breaking Point

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He also told Fox News that the breaking point was now “very close,” and action needed to be taken.

One of these actions was restarting shelter exits, which were initially paused due to cold weather.

Public Statement on the Situation

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A public statement has also been made on Denver’s official city website, which stated that “As of Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, Denver has supported 38,380 migrants from the southern border at a cost of more than $42 million.”

Budget Cuts Incoming

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According to a city press release officials have also stressed that the incoming migrant population is “straining capacity” and could result in budget cuts that soar as high as $180 million. 

Non-Profit Speaks

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The Denver-based non-profit organization ViVe Wellness has also been helping the city’s increasing migrant population. CEO Yoli Casas spoke to 9News about the issue. 

“It Hurts a Lot”

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“We have never seen so many people come and so many people in the last year,” Casas said.

“So Feb. 5 for me is a date that hurts a lot because it’s a date that, for various reasons, we’re full. There’s just no more space.”

Migrants Sent Elsewhere

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The local news site Denverite also reported that city officials have also taken to mimicking the Texas model, purchasing more than 2,000 bus tickets for migrants in January to resettle them in other sanctuary cities, particularly New York and Chicago.

Health System at Risk

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The influx of illegal immigrants has not just strained accommodation services, but also the city’s health system, which is now running at a budget deficit of $22 million.

20,000 Visits

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In 2023 approximately 20,000 visits were recorded for 8,000 illegal migrants seeking emergency care, and treatment for childbirth, dental, and primary issues.

No Right-to-Shelter

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Denver’s current shelter city laws do not include a right-to-shelter, which means that the local government is not required to provide ongoing accommodation for all migrants and asylum seekers. 

2 More Months

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According to a spokesperson for the Denver Department of Finance, the city can only afford to fund migrants for two more months.

“The city is currently in the process of drawing funds from our contingency reserves to meet the needs of the most recent surge in arrivals,” said Laura Swartz.

Looking at the Budget

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“This funding is anticipated to cover costs through April. All agencies have also been asked to identify potential savings within their 2024 budgets,” she continued.

“It is too early right now to say what specific savings will be until we have had the time to assess and identify options.”

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