It's On Us! Denver Launches a New Migrant Program

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston thinks he has cracked the code for handling the illegal alien problem in his sanctuary city. He wants to share the playbook with other cities.

In what is being called an ambitious new program, Denver is doing away with short-term shelter programs. The program includes a six-month apartment stay and intensive job preparation for those unable to legally work. 

The program launched on Monday. The idea is that putting them up in an apartment is cheaper than paying for hotel rooms or providing shelters. Johnston claims it is cheaper than providing bus tickets to send them elsewhere. Sanctuary cities like Denver have been scrambling to provide support for illegal aliens, though they virtue-signaled at the beginning of the Biden border crisis that they were prepared to welcome the illegal aliens. 

It's all fun and games with sanctimonious progressive mayors until the flood of illegal aliens actually shows up. Then the pleas for help come. The Biden administration ignores the sanctuary cities and their difficulties in handling the illegals, the same as it ignores border states. Biden wants an open border and he wants to allow illegal aliens to remain in the United States once they get here. He just doesn't want to deal with the fallout. 

The number of those eligible is limited. About 800 in Denver will be set up with an apartment for six months, food, paid utilities, a free computer, a prepaid cell phone, and metro bus passes. 

But wait. There is more. Denver is working with nonprofits to provide courses in the English language, computers, financial literacy, and workers' rights. The city will help them get credentialed in specific industries like construction, retail, hospitality, healthcare, and early childhood education. 

Wow. Who wouldn't want to come to Denver? The mayor sure is generous with Denver taxpayer money, isn't he?

The support will also include help with the paperwork for asylum applications, and eventually work authorization.

The goal of the new program is to act as a buffer for new arrivals who have to wait six months for a work permit after applying for asylum under federal law, using that time to prepare migrants for their new life.

“This is investing in people to set them up to be independent and thrive,” said Sarah Plastino, who’s overseeing the program. “We know that when we set people up for success, people really do succeed.”

The city expects to enroll 800 migrants in the coming months, though only those who don’t yet qualify for a work permit can enter this program.

An orientation was held at the Denver Quality Inn on Monday for some illegals. Most of them were staying there. Denver has rented out several hotels to house some of the 42,000 illegal aliens who have arrived since 2023. Most of the hotels are now shuttered or winding down as the number of new illegal aliens drops.

Mayor Johnston is underwater in the polls at the one-year mark of his administration. Gosh, I can't imagine why that would be. 

A new Magellan Strategies poll serves as a one-year report card for the new mayor and reveals the depth of voter frustration in Denver amid the migrant and homelessness crisis.

The poll shows Johnston's approval rating at 43%, well below the 55% of voters who elected him in June and lower than his 46% rating in August.

Half of voters disapprove of his performance to date with another 7% undecided, according to the survey, which was paid for by the city council.

A majority of voters think Denver is on the wrong track. Yet, the mayor persists. The city council isn't popular, either. Its polling shows only 36% of voters approve of them. 

Denver officials say that this new program will set illegal aliens up for success and enable them to thrive. What makes them think so, though? They are lawbreakers in a country that is supposed to value the rule of law. Entering the country illegally didn't exactly set them on a path to being model citizens. 

Does taking care of their every want and need with taxpayer money help them or make them dependent on assistance? One problem with asylum-seekers is that most do not qualify yet they are being allowed to stay. There is a sense of entitlement that hasn't been seen in previous years. Previous generations of illegal aliens have sought to assimilate and pursue the American Dream yet now that is no longer true. 

Denver's mayor has cut city services to pay for support of illegal aliens. He is creating a new office within city government to focus on neighborhood safety. It will be independent of the city's police force and its safety department. Johnston will transfer existing safety programs to the office, using those funds so that the new office will not cost additional dollars. 

Illegal border crossers are bum-rushing the southern border. The reason is the upcoming presidential election. They are hurrying to get here before the election is held in November, in case Trump wins. They are vocal in their support of Biden. Of course, they prefer Biden. Biden threw open the southern border when he came into office. He stopped deportations and limited what ICE and the Border Patrol agents could do. The Biden border crisis has turned many Border Patrol agents into paper pushers instead of law enforcement working along the border. Agents are pulled off patrolling the border because of the number of people who must be processed.

Trump, in contrast, has a history of living up to his campaign promise to secure the border. He did that during his term in office. He promises to do it again if he is re-elected. Trump promises mass deportations and providing the resources needed to clean up Biden's mess. 

Another four years of Biden in the White House will result in an additional 7-9 million illegal aliens allowed to invade our country and stay here. This is unsustainable. 

The House passed H.R. 2, which is the most comprehensive border security legislation in decades. It is languishing, though, without being brought up in the Senate. Democrats want an open border. So, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced the Secure the Border Act of 2023 in the Senate on Tuesday. It is the same as H.R. 2 from the House.

The Senate bill would resume construction on the wall, tighten asylum standards, criminalize visa overstays, increase the number of Border Patrol Agents, defund NGOs receiving tax dollars to help traffic illegal aliens throughout the country and prohibit DHS from using its app to assist illegal aliens.

Cruz's bill is co-sponsored by most Republican senators. Numbers USA and FAIR have endorsed it. 

The legislation is desperately needed to secure the border and protect our country. A country without borders is not a sovereign nation. The Biden border crisis is a national security threat, as well as a humanitarian crisis. Will Cruz's legislation be brought forward in the Senate? Don't hold your breath. 

We need change in November. Biden has been in dereliction of his prime task as president - to secure the homeland and protect Americans. We know Trump will rise to the occasion because he has done it before when he was in office. 

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John Stossel 1:00 PM | June 15, 2024