DENVER (KDVR) — Title 42 is set to end Thursday night. The Biden administration introduced a new rule to limit asylum with the pandemic-era rule expiring, but cities around the nation are still bracing for what could be a significant influx of newcomers — including Denver.
Mayor Michael Hancock said the situation is a humanitarian crisis. While the city is doing its best to help, he said it’s something they can’t continue to do without federal action.
“After several months of declining arrivals, over the last week, Denver has again begun to experience a significant influx of migrants arriving in our communities from the southern border,” Hancock said during a Thursday morning press conference ahead of Title 42’s expiration.
Hancock said the city is getting ready to see more migrants than last winter.
“In March and April, we were seeing 20-30 arrivals per day. On Tuesday, we saw close to 400. That by far eclipses anything we experienced in December and January,” Hancock said.
Hancock: Congress, government ‘failing’ on migrants
The mayor said on top of more people coming, the resources are dwindling, saying the city is considering service cuts without more help.
“Of the $16 million we’ve already used to support this emergency response, the federal government has only reimbursed for $909,000. Denver residents should use the services and resources they depend on and pay for with their tax dollars, because Congress and the federal government are failing to do their jobs.”
The city’s chief financial officer, Margaret Danuser, said the city applied for Federal Emergency Management Agency and state grants on top of asking the city council for $11 million in contingency funds. Hancock said Gov. Jared Polis and the state have been supportive as the city prepares for more arrivals.
The city is operating five shelters so far to help people like Junior, who came to Denver from Venezuela in hopes of getting to New York to reunite with family.
Through a Spanish-speaking public information officer, Junior said, “It has been a beautiful place to be, a beautiful state.” He said if he didn’t actually have people in New York to receive him, he would stay here.
The mayor said city leaders are in constant communication with the federal government.
U.S. Rep. Yadira Caraveo said she and Colorado’s Democratic delegation are pressing the president to release more funding to provide relief for the city.