As it cuts back on its aid to illegal immigrants, the city of Denver is removing around 800 migrant family members from shelters.
According to city officials, 140 families have been kicked out of temporary housing in Colorado’s capitol on Monday. The remaining 660 are expected to be removed within the next few weeks.
The sanctuary city is struggling to provide for the increasing number of migrants. Texas has sent thousands of migrants from border states to sanctuary cities such as Denver to demonstrate the difficulties border states face with migrants flooding their cities.
Denver officials are limiting the time migrants can spend in the state-provided room to cope with the daily influx.
Denver had 3,813 residents as of last week. More waves of illegal immigrants are still coming. Denver Mayor Mike Johnston is a Democrat and said that the city has reached its capacity.
Johnston stated at a town hall meeting held last week that “we have filled all the hotel rooms available in Denver and its county.”
Johnston explained: “Now, we face the horrible decision of having 250 people arrive tomorrow or today who will not have a place to stay at night.
Due to the crisis, the city was “very near” breaking point.
9News reports that the city initially paused exits from shelters because of colder weather. However, due to space constraints and timing issues, this pause will be lifted by next week. Migrants with children could stay in shelters for 37 days.
Denver’s website states that as of Monday, February 5, 2024, it has provided support to 38,380 migrants at a cost exceeding $42 million.
The city stated in a release that “this influx of migrants strains capacity and, based on the current projections could force the City to cut up to $180 million annually from its budget.”
Yoli Casas of ViVe Wellness said that the number of migrants arriving is unprecedented. ViVe Wellness helps the city deal with its migrant problem.
Casas said to 9News “We have never had so many people arrive and so many in the past year… So, Feb. 5, for me, is a day that hurts because, for different reasons, we are full.” There’s no more room.”
The city also helps migrants leave the city through bus tickets. Denverite reports that the city bought more than 2,000 bus tickets in January, mainly for people who were going to New York City or Chicago.
The city’s healthcare system is also at breaking point due to the influx of migrants.
Around 8,000 illegal immigrants made about 20,000 visits to Denver Health during the last year. They received services like emergency room treatment, primary health care, dental care, and childbirth. These visits have contributed to a system deficit of about $22 million.
Denver has passed laws that make it a sanctuary city. However, there isn’t a provision for a right to shelter, so the local government doesn’t have to offer shelter forever.