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Office of Emergency Management briefs City Council on Migrants in Denver

Officials say while Denver's migrant crisis isn't here, they want to be prepared for the future
Posted at 6:52 PM, Feb 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-27 07:58:28-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management (PPROEM) briefed City Council on the migrant crisis in Denver and how Colorado Springs prepares if it moves south.

"We've been tracking this for a year and a half, and as Denver goes into crisis and has reached the capacity of the number of people they can shelter, we're going to see people throughout the state of Colorado. Not necessarily Colorado Springs, but moving from Denver throughout the state of Colorado," said Regional Emergency Management and Recovery Director for the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management Andrew Notbohm.

The PPROEM says the stat is getting information on migrants from Denver, the only place to get concrete data. They say since January of 2023, the city and county have helped 38,718 migrants. The weekly cost of proving food, shelter, and resources for migrants is $750 per person, per week.

"Individuals and migrant families have a choice, if they want to go anywhere in the country, Denver will purchase a ticket for them," said Notbohm, referring to the rumor there was a coordinated effort from Denver to send migrants to Colorado Springs.

The PPROEM does say, however, it would be impossible to get an accurate headcount of migrants already in Colorado Springs.

"I recognize it's unsatisfying to our community to not have concrete numbers, but it would be irresponsible if we were to share anecdotal information as if it was concrete information, data," said Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations for Colorado Springs Ryan Trujillo.

This led to a heated moment between Trujillo and District 1 Councilmember Dave Donelson.

"You know, the Orwellian part of this, to me is I feel like I'm getting a presentation from the Ministry of Truth. Right? And things are being twisted," he said.

Trujillo responded, "We could get numbers, they would be anecdotal and not factual."

In the meantime, Colorado Springs says it's working to learn from the mistakes and successes of Denver. However, they say a comprehensive plan before a migrant crisis might happen in the city isn't possible.

"Really every emergency we prepare for, all those decisions happen when the emergency comes to fruition," said Trujillo.

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