Denver (CO), Jan. 2 The state of Colorado stopped transporting recently arrived immigrants by bus to New York and Chicago starting Monday, despite the fact that dozens of asylum seekers arrive every day, which has overwhelmed the capacity of aid services in its main city, Denver. .
Governor Jared Polis said in a statement that Colorado “has been assisting the city of Denver” since the beginning of the year so that new immigrants “reach their desired final destination” which, in about 1,600 cases, meant going to New York or Chicago.
However, at the request of Mayors Eric Adams (New York) and Lori Lightfoot (Chicago) that Denver stop transporting immigrants to those cities, and despite the fact that Denver received no federal funds to help these people with housing, food and medical services, Polis ordered that transport service to be cancelled.
“We refuse to hold people against their will if they want to travel to another place,” warned the president.
“While the federal government and Congress have unfortunately failed the American people on immigration reform and border security, Colorado continues to ensure culturally competent and humane support to help migrants escape oppression,” he added.
The governor’s office explained that Polis, Adams and Lightfoot had “a productive conversation” that concluded with the decision that Denver would no longer hire buses to transport immigrants. For this reason, the last bus with new immigrants (mostly Venezuelans) arrived in New York from Denver this Sunday.
Official data from the Denver Mayor’s Office indicates that during the last four weeks some 4,000 immigrants arrived in that city, at a cost of more than 1.5 million dollars for the local municipality to provide them with the necessary assistance. At the same time, more than 70% of those people indicated that Denver was not their final destination.
Separately, Polis’s office stressed that immigrants sent by bus to New York and Chicago had already made arrangements to reach those cities on their own, but that the government decided to intervene when those plans were thwarted “by adverse weather and the lack of personnel” that caused “the cancellations of the trips of many migrants”.
For comparison, Chicago received about 3,900 immigrants during the last four months, while New York received more than 36,000 immigrants during the last nine months. According to Mayor Adams, his city will spend about a billion dollars during 2023 to respond to the needs of these people.
For his part, Polis reiterated this Monday his request to President Joe Biden to promote the approval of laws that, at the federal level, allow “creating work permits for immigrants”, as well as “better border security”, being the final goal “an immigration reform”. EFE