Denver Doubles Down on Migrant Response

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

For a brief time, it had looked as if the city of Denver, Colorado was reaching the end of its ropes and they were going to start pushing the small army of migrants camping there to move on to better destinations. Then, as Karen reported last week, they seemed to do an about-face, proposing a new program that would heap even more rewards on the illegals. That didn't go over very well with many in the community, so it appeared that they might be facing a standoff of some sort. Now, the dust appears to have settled and the City Council is doubling down on its "Newcomer Program" with even more free goodies being made available to the illegal squatters. If you thought that the migrants in New York City were doing well with hotel rooms and debit cards, they will be green with envy when they hear about this. Denver's migrants are truly walking in tall cotton, as my grandmother used to say. (Denver Gazette)

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The Denver City Council is doubling down on policies that offer free shelter and food to immigrants who cross the southern border illegally, which officials in west Texas say have been the primary draw to Colorado’s most populous city.

In an overview Tuesday of the city’s response to the crisis — the so-called “Newcomer Program” — councilmembers learned that the immigrants will receive, at taxpayers' expense, six months of rental, food and utility assistance, a computer, prepaid cell phone and metro bus passes.

“We designed this program to be holistic,” said Sarah Plastino, who is in charge of the city’s response.

This is apparently the "holistic" program that the City Council is moving forward with. The migrants will receive six months of free rent. Their food and utility bills will be paid for them. They will not only get a prepaid cell phone but also a computer. (There was no mention of free internet access, but I'm sure that's on the way.) Oh, and they will also have free metro passes to get around, so Denver's citizens can look forward to running into them when they head out to the shops.

However, the holistic program only runs for six months. What happens after that? The council's spokeswoman said that they expect the first "cohort" of migrants to "graduate" in December or January. Do they get a diploma or something? One might assume that Denver will have figured out a way for all of them to have work permits by then, federal laws be damned. A more charitable person might be tempted to say that it would be better to have them working and beginning to pay their own bills rather than living off of the mandatory "generosity" of the taxpayers. Perhaps there is some truth in that.

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Yet that's not a long-term solution either. The timing of this "graduation" could also turn out to be fortuitous for the citizens instead of the migrants. If the national polling turns out to be correct and the current trends hold (dear God in Heaven above, please let it be so), something else might be happening in January. If Donald Trump is sworn back into office, it probably won't be all that long before some empty buses operated by ICE begin pulling up in Denver and the migrants may find themselves on a fast track for a free ride across the southern border. If they attempt to turn around and come back in, they will be met with the sight of more impenetrable walls going up and military troops backing up the Border Patrol. 

In any event, something needs to be done. As the Denver Gazette points out, Denver's response to the migrant crisis has thus far cost the city $70 million "and counting." And that figure does not include other costs, such as education and health care, particularly for migrants with children. Denver is not a large city like New York or Chicago. The schools and hospitals are not geared up to suddenly accept an influx of 40,000 people. That's particularly true when you consider that those people are not paying anything back into the system to cover those costs. The situation is simply not sustainable and something needs to be done.

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John Stossel 1:00 PM | June 15, 2024
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