Illegal Migrants In Denver Complain They're Not Getting Enough Despite City Budget Cuts

Illegal Migrants In Denver Complain They're Not Getting Enough Despite City Budget Cuts

The city of Denver has cut its budget — including funds for its police force — in order to provide food and shelter to thousands of illegal immigrants, but now some of them are complaining that they’re not getting enough.

“Migrants and an advocacy group in Denver decried the city’s new Asylum Seekers Program that offers six months of free housing, calling it ‘insufficient’ and ‘offensive’ despite the mayor cutting the city’s emergency budget to accommodate the migrant surge,” Fox News reported on Monday.

Denver, a sanctuary city, has faced challenges in allocating its limited resources to accommodate the increasing influx of migrants. Since December 2022, over 40,000 migrants have arrived in the city, surpassing the per capita intake of any other U.S. city. This surge has incurred a total cost of approximately $68 million, as reported by the New York Post.

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston recently unveiled a new initiative aimed at providing a comprehensive and sustainable solution to the migrant situation in the city. This program offers six months of essential support, including free housing, food assistance, and workforce training, to approximately 1,000 migrants currently residing in the city’s shelter system. The resources aim to assist migrants as they await authorization to work, a process that can take up to 180 days under federal asylum-seeker laws.

Johnston’s office said his plan will treat “our newcomers with dignity while avoiding the worst cuts to city services.”

However, in order to make the migrant support program financially viable and cover the expenses of migrant services, Johnston implemented budget cuts in other areas, including emergency departments.

Under the new program, the Denver Police Department budget will be slashed by roughly $8.4 million, or 1.9%, Newsweek reported. The city’s fire department will also face a budget cut.

The new plan mandates that migrants who arrive in the city must vacate shelters after 24-72 hours, after which they will be “provided a short-term stay at a congregate site along with assistance securing onward travel to another destination,” the Post reported. Before, illegal migrants were allowed to remain in shelters for two to six weeks.

The housing advocacy group Housekeys Action Network Denver (HAND) criticized Johnston for the alterations, asserting that the Democrat’s response to accommodate migrants in his city was inadequate.

“Every new migrant that comes is going to be left to fend for themselves after 24 to 72 hours,” HAND spokesperson V. Reeves told local ABC affiliate KMGH-TV, who went on to call the program “a slap in the face and an offensive period of time.”

One of the migrants, Willy Bastidas, also complained about the situation to the local outlet.

“I think that it’s insufficient,” he told KMGH, adding, “the mayor doesn’t represent us … He needs to listen to us and work with us to a better solution.”


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