Denver set to apply for $12 million in federal grants to house Central American refugees

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DENVER -- Mayor Michael Hancock's administration is almost certain to submit a grant proposal by Tuesday's deadline to receive up to $12 million from the federal government to support the relocation of up to 60 young refugees from Central America.

According to the Dept. of Health and Human Services and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the Obama administration is offering $350 million in grants to up to 60 U.S. cities and counties that are willing to temporarily house and take care of Central American refugees.

Denver could receive up to $4 million per year for three years if its grant is approved.

"These are competitive grants. If we don't get the money, another city will," said Penny May, the interim manager of Denver Human Services. "To me this is an opportunity to expand our capacity to help kids."

The rush of immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador is overwhelming immigration resources and has sparked protests from people angry at the government for housing border crossers in other communities from California to Massachusetts.

According to a poll released Tuesday by the Public Religion Research Institute, 70 percent of Americans think the United States should provide temporary support and housing for unaccompanied Central American minors who illegally cross into the country while their cases undergo review.

On Thursday, House Republicans in Washington failed to find enough support to call a vote on a modest $659 million aid package to address the crisis on the border; and Senate Democrats were unable to advance their own $2.7 billion measure due to procedural hurdles.

"This Congress is doing what it always does: nothing," said state Sen. Jessie Ulibarri, D-Adams County, during a press conference at the State Capitol called by Latino leaders who support Hancock's decision to welcome some of the immigrants to Denver.

"But these children are crying out desperately for us to do something. How long will they be treated as refugees? As long as they are fleeing violence and cartels and rape and extortion and torture -- that is how long we will consider them refugees."

Rev. Patrick Demmers of the Greater Denver Ministerial Alliance implored Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has said he would support Denver and other municipalities should they opt to absorb some of the Central American refugees, to take a stronger stance in support by pushing the Obama administration to officially declare the immigrants "refugees".

"If it's legal [in Colorado] to smoke a blunt, it must be legal to help children," Demmers said.

But some local officials worry that the costs borne by the federal government will eventually trickle down to local taxpayers.

"We are all compassionate people. All of us," said Denver Councilman Charlie Brown. "But the question is how much compassion can we afford? How much compassion can Denver afford? How much can America afford? And what happens when the money runs out?"


  • Anonymous

    The Constitution only prohibits the quartering of Soldiers. Why don’t we quarter the illegals within the homes of the Liberals that embrace them and allow them to carry the weight of compassion themselves?

  • coloradocommish

    If you needed any further evidence that Liberal/Progressive Democrats wanted to destroy America’s Sovereignty, Security, Freedom, and Liberty… You now have it.
    A “Border/Humanitarian” Crisis COMPLETELY fabricated and created by the present administration…using children as pawns and “poker chips”, with little real concern… and fully supported by it’s national PR firm…. the main stream media.
    Best of Luck America… It was a Great Ride.

  • PatriotNY

    Let’s do some simple math here. There are 60 “refugees” (latest code word for illegal aliens) that are being shipped to Colorado. The State is requesting up to $12 million over a 3 year period for said “refugees”. That’s $12,000,000 divided by 60 = $200,000 A PIECE. Of course the State was kind enough to spread that money out over the 3 year time frame. PER YEAR PER “REFUGEE” that’s $66,666.67. Wow. And I’m sure that’s tax free. So for you & me, the average American who only gets grief from the government, in order to clear $66,666 a year you’d have to make close to 100K. I think I’m going to apply for “REFUGEE” status down at the Texas border. The cost of a plane ticket to get there is worth the investment of squeezing $200K out of the state of Colorado.

  • Sherry Lincoln

    Some of these kids are used by the drug cartels to infiltrate our cities, why doesn’t the govt. spend the money on killing the drug cartels so the people can stay in their own country. Get rid of the problem! but that means less money to certain govt. officials. such a sad thing.

  • Jerry

    “But some local officials worry that the costs borne by the federal government will eventually trickle down to local taxpayers.”

    I thought to government got money FROM the local taxpayers already! NO Wait…. this is free money that they invented….. My Bad!

  • Beckey Grabowski

    This is insane! We are applying for this grant because we have somehow demonstrated competency and excellence in caring for Colorado’s own LEGAL abused, neglected and abandoned youth? Governments CANNOT raise children. After years working with and in the child welfare system, I think we must demand competence, safety, excellence and ABILITY to care for the thousands of throw-away children who are already in this state AND happen to be legal citizens, before we offer to take on thousands more!

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