Denver Slashes First Responder Budgets To Aid Undocumented Immigrant Crisis

( The city of Denver recently unveiled a bold plan to address a growing immigration challenge, reallocating funds from several key departments to assist undocumented immigrants who have arrived in Colorado’s capital in large numbers.

The city’s Democratic Mayor, Mike Johnston, announced the plan, describing it as a strategic move to avoid the worst-case budget cuts. Dubbed the “Newcomer Program Strategy,” the initiative involves an allocation of nearly $90 million to provide assistance and shelter to undocumented immigrants throughout 2024.

To fund this program, the city, led by Democrats, will reduce police spending by $8.4 million, fire department funding by $2.5 million, and implement a 2.2% cut in the Sheriff’s Department budget.

Mayor Johnston emphasized that after more than a year of collectively addressing the crisis, Denver has developed a sustainable plan to treat newcomers with dignity while preserving essential city services. He stressed that this action demonstrates the solvability of their toughest challenges through collective effort.

Despite its sanctuary city status, Denver has struggled with a rapid influx of migrants, with approximately 40,000 arriving earlier this year. In response, Mayor Johnston swiftly implemented a policy that mandates migrant families to leave shelters after a period of six-weeks.

The revised city budget allocates $51.7 million for migrant shelter and housing, with an additional $9.7 million designated for supportive services such as case management and workforce training, along with $6 million for migrant transportation. The mayor’s office will see a significant reduction in spending by 9.6%, with other affected departments including the Economic Development, Public Health and Environment, the Public Library and the City Attorney’s Office.

Denver’s “Newcomer Program Strategy” emerges at a time when Colorado residents express frustration over the immigration crisis at the U.S. southern border, with recent polls identifying immigration as a top concern for the 2024 election.

Meanwhile, Republican pollster Lori Wiegel highlighted immigration as a significant issue among Colorado voters, mirroring national trends.

Colorado has leaned Democratic in recent presidential elections, with President Biden winning the state by nearly 14 points in 2020, signaling a notable increase in Democratic support compared to 2016.

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