Sanctuary city makes massive budget cuts to deal with swelling migrant crisis

Jake Smith
Daily Caller News Foundation

The mayor of Denver, Colorado, announced a series of budget cuts on Friday to deal with the city’s increasing migrant crisis.

Mayor Mike Johnston said Friday that millions in cuts will be made to Denver’s Motor Vehicle Department (DMV) and the Department of Parks and Recreation, casting “direct” blame on Republican lawmakers for refusing to pass the border security deal released in the Senate on Sunday. As a Democratic-run sanctuary city, Denver has brought in more migrants per capita than any other big city besides Texas in 2023 and is expected to spend over $100 million in 2024 to address it, according to USA Today.

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“The choice by Republicans in Congress to purposefully kill a historic, bipartisan border deal this week will have a devastating impact in Denver,” Mayor Mike Johnston said in a statement on Friday. “I’m incredibly proud of how city team members have stepped up over the past year, but is clear that the federal government is not going to support our city. As a result, today, we began making the hard decisions to reduce department budgets and begin reducing migrant services.”

“Denverites have done their part, the city will do our part. The federal government failed to do their part,” Johnston said. “Addressing this crisis will require shared sacrifice, but we will continue to work together to meet this moment.”

Among the cuts being made are freezes on new DMV employment and halting in-person vehicle registration services, according to Johnston. There will be a 25% slash to spring recreation programs and a reduction in the operating days for recreation centers.

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The cuts in total will save Denver $5 million that it can put toward the increasing migrant crisis, according to Johnston. Denver previously announced last month that it made $25 million in cuts to city services that will also be put toward the crisis.

Denver accepted over 40,000 incoming migrants in 2023, and overcrowding is quickly becoming a problem as housing and sheltering options begin to run out. Denver has started evicting migrants from tent cities that have started popping up on city streets, according to USA Today.

Denver has already spent $25 million to house migrants in the city and $20 million for their medical services. The city will spend over $100 million in healthcare, schooling and housing costs for the migrants in 2024.

Johnston’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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