Colorado plans to bus more migrants to major US cities

Immigration

NEW YORK (NewsNation) — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis plans to send more migrants to major U.S. cities such as Chicago and New York, New York Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday.  

“This is just unfair for local governments to have to take on this national obligation. We’ve done our job,” Adams said during an interview with radio station WABC. “There’s no more room at the inn, but we are compelled by local laws here that we must provide shelter.”

In a statement Tuesday, Polis said that his administration is working to help transport migrants since about 70 percent do not want to stay in Colorado.  

“In order to facilitate the safe and voluntary transit of people to their desired destinations, the state is working with culturally competent navigators to ensure that each individual is voluntarily making their own travel decision,” the governor said in the statement.  

Polis added in the statement that he recognizes the many migrants stopping in Colorado on their way to their final destinations have been slowed down by transportation cancellations stemming from bad weather and workforce shortages.  

Many major U.S. cities, including New York, have struggled to provide services to an influx of migrants from the southern border.

Adams declared a state of emergency in October as a nonstop flow of migrants arrived in the city. He asked the federal government for at least a billion dollars to help offset the cost of handling the influx.

New York City officials said more than 30,000 migrants have arrived in the city since last spring and the city has spent millions on housing and social services.

“It’s a real embarrassment, I believe, on a national level, and we must have an appropriate response,” Adams said.

Denver has also struggled to help a wave of migrants arriving in the Mile High City.  

The number of migrants and asylum-seekers from the southern border traveling to Denver reached at least 3,500 last month, according to a release from the city and county of Denver.  

A spokesperson for Polis told The Hill that the city of Denver has been purchasing bus tickets for migrants, most of whom have expressed an interest in going to New York City, Chicago, Atlanta or Miami, for weeks.

“I don’t think there’s an end in sight and so we need to activate other types of resources,” said Amanda Sandoval, a Denver city councilwoman.

Polis has allocated $5 million to help with the migrant response.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has yet to confirm if the city will receive migrants from Colorado.  

The Hill contributed to this report.

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