Denver (CO), Dec. 7 Denver, the capital of Colorado, and Fort Collins, the main city in the north of the state, announced this Wednesday separately the activation of an emergency accommodation plan for immigrants, in response to the arrival of some 150 foreigners transferred by buses to those cities in the last days.
According to the Denver Office of Emergency Response (DOEM), most of the immigrants arrived without prior notice in the early hours of Tuesday, and it is unknown until now who sent them or where they left from.
On its Twitter account, DOEM indicated that on Tuesday night some 100 immigrants had been housed “in an undisclosed place” (apparently a recreational center) that was already prepared for this type of circumstance.
Another 50 immigrants received housing at the Denver Rescue Mission, a non-profit organization that operates several shelters for homeless people in the center of the city.
Mikayla Ortega, spokesperson for DOEM, indicated in a statement that the buses stopped in front of the Denver Rescue Mission and the immigrants got off there, without the drivers having any contact with the personnel of that organization. It is unknown, in addition, there were people waiting for the arrival of the buses.
The first inquiries revealed that most of the immigrants are Venezuelans between the ages of 20 and 40 and that the group includes several minors. All the newcomers speak only Spanish and their legal status within the country has not been verified so far.
Likewise, none of them provided information on how they managed to travel, who they contacted for the trip (or who contacted them), where the trip started or what company hired them. In fact, until this morning the authorities even lacked an adequate description of the buses.
This Wednesday, Paul López, Secretary and Records Officer of Denver, indicated in a statement shared with EFE that “Denver is a sanctuary for all human beings”, adding that he feels “proud to have led our city to be a safe place for all who seek a better life, whether they arrive here by bus or otherwise.”
López highlighted that the willingness to receive the foreigner is part of the Christmas season and of an ancient tradition that is already mentioned in biblical texts that mention “loving the foreigner”, “inviting the foreigner” and “showing hospitality to the foreigner”. .
For his part, Stephen Hinkel, spokesman for the Denver Rescue Mission, declared that immigrants “are already here and we are going to serve them in the best possible way because we believe that all humanity deserves to be served at the highest possible level.”
Hinkel stressed that his organization “is not equipped” to adequately respond to the challenge of the arrival of immigrants, so, in addition to asking for help from the local municipality, it is already working with community groups, especially the Friends Services Committee Americans (AFSC).
In northern Colorado, the city of Fort Collins has also activated shelters for immigrants, but so far it has not been reported if there are already people staying in those places.
Authorities from that town asserted that they are “monitoring” the situation in Denver and that they hope to coordinate efforts with community groups and local volunteers to activate “welcome centers” for immigrants when the occasion arises. EFE