The city of Denver, Colorado, is expected to spend up to $20 million to support illegal immigrants, Denver’s chief financial officer Margaret Danuser said during a budget meeting Monday.
Denver is spending roughly $800 to $1,000 per migrant each week and the expected $20 million in spending is for the timeframe of December 2022 and June 2023, Danuser said. The city has supported more than 6,000 migrants with shelter and hotel housing, three meals each day, transportation, staff to assist them and supplies.
The city is mainly relying on Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Food and Shelter program funding from the federal government to support the migrants, Danuser said.
Federal authorities have seen a record surge in illegal immigration at the southern border, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) documented more than 2.3 million migrant encounters in fiscal year 2022 and more than 1 millionbetween October 2022 and February 2023.
Denver began seeing a greater surge of illegal migrants arriving in December, the head of the city’s human services department Jay Morein detailed during Monday’s meeting. The number of arrivals have since decreased.
Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis began busing illegal migrants out of the state to New York City in January.
“No one should play politics with the lives of migrants who came here to escape oppression, and in Colorado, we are honoring our values of treating people with dignity and respect. We are simply carrying out our values of treating every human being with dignity and respect. Coloradans would expect nothing less from us to uphold our shared values to assist people fleeing oppression,” Polis also said in a statement at the time.
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