Denver To Cut Police Spending To Pay For Illegal Immigrants

FILE - Migrants queue in the cold as they look for a shelter outside a migrant assistance center at St. Brigid Elementary School on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, in New York. Nervous officials in suburbs and outlying cities near Chicago and New York are giving migrants arriving from the southern border a cold shoulder.  Edison, New Jersey, the mayor warned he would send people back to the border if they came to his city in buses. The moves come amid attempts to circumvent new limits on dropping migrants in the two cities, opening a new front in response to efforts led by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to pay for migrants to leave his state. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)

The city of Denver announced budget cuts to some departments this week, including the police, sheriff, and fire departments, to allocate more funding for illegal immigrants who have overwhelmed Colorado’s capital.

Democratic Denver Mayor Mike Johnston announced the cuts on Wednesday, celebrating the move as a way to avoid “the worst-case budget cut scenarios.” The “Newcomer Program Strategy” is a nearly $90 million budget plan that funds aid and sheltering for illegal immigrants through the rest of 2024, Fox 31 reported. To pay for the illegal immigrant plan, the Democrat-run city will cut police spending by $8.4 million and fire department spending by $2.5 million, while the Sheriff’s Department will be hit with a 2.2% reduction.

“After more than a year of facing this crisis together, Denver finally has a sustainable plan for treating our newcomers with dignity while avoiding the worst cuts to city services,” Johnston said. “So many times we were told that we couldn’t be compassionate while still being fiscally responsible. Today is proof that our hardest challenges are still solvable, and that together we are the ones who will solve them.”

Denver scrambled earlier this year to find a way to shelter an estimated 40,000 migrants who had arrived in the city over the course of a few months. The mayor took action to help mitigate the strain on migrant shelters by requiring that migrant families leave a shelter after staying for six weeks.

Johnston’s office said in January that the migrant influx was “straining capacity” and that “over the past two months, Denver has seen a dramatic uptick in arrivals and is currently sheltering 4,000 people.” The mayor added that the city would need to come up with $100 million to pay for the crisis. Denver, which is a “sanctuary city,” followed up weeks later by booting around 800 migrant families from overcrowded shelters.

The new city budget plan allocates $51.7 million for migrant shelter and housing, according to Fox 31. Another $9.7 million will go toward “supportive services,” including case management and workforce training, and $6 million will be allocated for migrant transportation.

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