Denver Mayor Caps Migrant Aid, Shifts to Limited Support Plan Amid Crisis

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, a member of the Democratic party, has announced a new plan to address the city’s handling of the migrant crisis. The city has been feeling the strain of spending millions of dollars and stretching its resources to accommodate the influx of migrants, a situation that has drawn criticism from taxpaying residents.

In a major policy shift, Mayor Johnston revealed that the city will now limit its support for illegal immigrants, reducing the number of people it will assist to 1,000 over a six-month period. This decision comes after failed attempts to secure federal aid and faced opposition to significant budget cuts.

Denver has been a major hub for the migrant crisis, providing aid to nearly 41,000 migrants since 2022. Prior to the new plan, the city, along with Chicago and New York, had been offering hospitality to all illegal migrants, leading to increased costs and strain on resources.

Under the new program, 1,000 asylum-seekers will be placed in apartments for up to six months with access to job and skill training, assistance with food and asylum applications. Priority for the program will be given to the 800 people currently living in the city’s shelters. Mayor Johnston described the plan as providing newcomers with “a real path to work and independence.”

Additionally, Denver has taken steps to communicate the changes directly to newcomers and nonprofit groups, with the aim of managing expectations and encouraging advance planning.

However, not all are supportive of Denver’s new approach, with some critics citing a 2017 ordinance signed by former Mayor Michael Hancock that declared Denver a “sanctuary” for migrants. There are concerns that the new plan will leave illegal immigrants in difficult situations once the city’s assistance ends.

In comparison, New York City offers most adult migrants 30 days in the shelter system, while Chicago has recently implemented a 60-day limit on shelter stays. Representatives from both cities have traveled to Texas to discourage incoming migrants by painting a negative picture of the opportunities available to them.

The changes in Denver’s approach reflect a growing trend among cities dealing with the migrant crisis, as they seek to navigate the challenges of providing support to those in need while managing their own resources and budgets.

Written by Staff Reports

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