us denver of 710000 people is struggling to handle 40000 migrant arrivals
Last updated on February 1st, 2024 at 05:48 am
Denver, the capital of Colorado in the US, received nearly 40,000 migrants over the past year, making the city of just over 710,000 people the top destination per capita for newly arrived migrants crossing the US southern border and travelling north from Texas.
The concerning influx has taken a toll on the city’s public safety net. Denver Health, the city’s “safety net” hospital, is asking for more financial assistance from state and federal governments to help cover the $10 million in unpaid medical bills from incoming migrants.
Mayor Mike Johnston estimates Denver will need $100 million over 2024 to handle expenses linked to housing, schooling, health care, and other services as a result of the unexpected influx. The numbers are no less than staggering.
Denver Health asking state and federal agencies for help
In an effort to handle the crisis better, the city is set to limit the number of days migrants can stay in shelters starting February 5 and send those exceeding their stay onto the streets. NBC News recently reported the tough circumstances engulfing Denver at the moment.
The agency highlighted the story of a Venezuelan family, a mother, father and their three daughters. The individuals have been staying at a hotel paid for by the city, but have now received a notice that they are soon to be evicted.
Meanwhile, Dr Steven Federico, a pediatrician and chief of government and community affairs at Denver Health, said the hospital has asked state and federal agencies for assistance. “I think it’s been an unheeded call so far in terms of who’s going to be responsible for … this population.”
Denver welcoming migrants in a way not seen in other cities
Dr Kristi Rodrigues, another pediatrician, says she has seen an uptick in chicken pox and even some parasitic problems caused by poor drinking water that migrants are expected to have consumed on their journeys to the US.
Nonetheless, Denver has welcomed migrants in a way not seen in other cities. There have not been major protests. Instead, residents have joined nonprofits to donate food and clothing and even organized carpools to transport new migrant students to school.
The Biden administration has asked Congress for $1.4 billion in grants to local governments and non-profits to handle the recently arrived migrants. But Republicans have been reluctant to put more money until Democrats agree to legislative changes to limit immigration.