DENVER (KDVR) — Denver said Monday that it was experiencing an “unprecedented increase” in migrant arrivals, with an average of 300 migrants arriving every day.
This was up from the 125 arrivals seen daily in mid-September.
“Two weeks ago, we were seeing 100, 125 people per day,” Denver Human Services Jon Ewing told FOX31’s Nicole Fierro. “We’re close to 300 people a day now. Yesterday alone, we received nine buses from Texas. That’s unheard of.”
The reported increase came days after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the state had sent over 2,400 migrants to Denver since May 18, when 41 migrants were dropped off at Civic Center Park.
Nine buses arrived from Texas on Sunday alone, according to the city. However, this was not explicitly part of the state’s busing program.
According to a release, the newest surge has forced Denver to change its policies on how long some migrants can stay in shelters.
Now, adults without children will only be allowed to stay 14 days as opposed to 21. Families with children will be allowed to stay in shelters for 37 days, rather than the previous 30 days.
“We’re in a much better place now than we were in late December,” Ewing said. “I don’t want anyone to think that we’re in a far, far better place. We have great systems in place, but 300 people a day is unsustainable if we don’t make some changes.”
$26 million spent so far
Since the initial surge in December 2022, Denver has served more than 21,000 migrants. According to the city, this has cost $26 million.
In a previous release, the city said it had received reimbursements of $3.5 million from the state and $909,000 from the federal government. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced in June that the city would receive $8.6 million in federal funding.
“We need more federal coordination, we need more support,” Ewing said. “Denver is a welcoming city, but we can’t do this alone.”
FOX31 reached out to U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s office and received a statement.
“We cannot sustain the situation at our Southern Border and the effect it is having on cities across the country, including Denver,” the statement reads. “We have to find a path forward for this country that honors our traditions as a nation of immigrants and our commitment to the rule of law. When I was part of the Gang of 8 in 2013, we wrote a bill that included a tough but fair pathway to citizenship, the DREAM Act, and $40 billion for border security. If Democrats and Republicans sit down together, I believe we can agree on a thoughtful approach.”
The city said that any donations the public has can be delivered to the Richard T. Castro Human Services Center at 1200 N. Federal Blvd.
The city encourages people to schedule appointments for drop-offs and read the donation instructions on the city website. With colder weather on the way, winter items such as hats, scarves, socks and gloves are especially needed.
Additionally, the Newcomers Fund is accepting donations from the public.
Money given to the fund will go to the city’s nonprofit partners that are supporting migrants.
“While we are being stretched right now, we know that there is more that is coming our way,” Hinkel said. “We’re going to do the best we can to shelter and provide a safe environment for anybody who wants to come to use our services.”