DENVER — Immigration officials are bracing for a surge in migrants entering the United States, and the humanitarian crisis is already overwhelming the City of Denver.
The federal government's COVID-19 public health emergency will end Thursday, and with it Title 42, a policy preventing people who are seeking asylum from coming to the U.S.
Denver processes hundreds of migrants as federal asylum rule set to expire
On Wednesday, 286 migrants arrived in Denver, according to a 6 p.m. update from the city. Denver saw 378 migrant arrivals the day before.
Four city shelters are at capacity, and others are filling up, the city told Denver7.
“We are at a point where it has become unmanageable for one agency to address and to manage alone,” said Mikayla Ortega with the Denver Officer of Emergency Management. “Our resources are not infinite. We are not able to do this long term.”
In anticipation of even more arrivals, Denver activated its Emergency Operations Center Wednesday.
The city demobilized the center just two months ago. It opened to support migrants as they arrived in an influx starting on Dec. 6.
Denver to demobilize Emergency Operations Center for migrant influx
Denver says it has spent upward of $15 million on this humanitarian crisis, and the city has only received $2 million from the state. Now, city officials are calling on the federal government to step up.
“It's unclear if we'll be able to obtain reimbursement for all of the money that we've put into this effort,” Ortega said.
In a joint letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Governor Jared Polis said, “We want to reiterate that non-border jurisdictions are very much impacted by this crisis. Receiving additional funding is essential to caring for the needs of migrants while maintaining solvency of our local finances."
Hancock and Office of Emergency Management Director Matthew Mueller will hold a media briefing Thursday at 11 a.m. to discuss the situation.
Several nonprofits are helping provide food, clothing and shelter to the new arrivals. The city has specifically asked faith-based communities for help in providing shelter.
If you would like to help the migrants arriving in Denver, you can donate to the Newcomers Fund.