DENVER, Colorado — The mayors of Chicago and New York City sent a letter Saturday to Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) demanding his administration stop bussing migrants to their cities.
"Although we share the concerns of accommodating the flood of asylum seekers, overburdening other cities is not the solution," the mayors wrote.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago and Mayor Eric Adams of New York City say the migrants and families who arrived this week from Colorado do not have any ties to their cities, family members, or community networks to welcome them.
"Since Texas Governor Greg Abbot began to inhumanely bus thousands of asylum seekers to both cities last spring, Chicago and New York have reached maximum capacity in their shelter spaces, and services to adequately support the migrants have been exhausted," the letters states.
An estimated 36,400 asylum seekers have gone through New York City’s emergency intake system as of January 3, the letter states. The City of Chicago has welcomed 3,854 migrants bused to its city from Texas since August 31.
The mayors say an official in Colorado was contacted by their cities before the first bus arrived to notify them that neither had additional room to accommodate more migrants.
"Our understanding is that Colorado purports to be a welcoming state," the leader reads. "At least as far as we are concerned, whether a welcoming state or welcoming city, the leaders must make sure that those values are lived in good times and especially in challenging times."
The mayors encourage Polis to follow best practices established by the US Department of Homeland Security which identifies receiving states as the lead entity for providing housing and wrap-around services to asylum-seekers.
"Sending migrants to our cities whose systems are over capacity, where they may struggle to find shelter and other services is wrong and further victimizes these most vulnerable individuals," the letter reads. "These actions do not live up to the values of a proclaimed welcoming state and should stop immediately."
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