Colorado City Ends Funding for Migrants, Blames State and Federal Neglect for the Budget Shortfall

Authorities in Aurora, Colorado, have put a pause on financial aid for migrants, pointing fingers at the state and federal government for the shortfall in funds.

Denver’s Migrant Welcome: Sustainable?

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Even though it’s not a border state like Texas, Arizona, or California, Colorado has been hit hard by the wave of undocumented entrants. Denver, the heart of the state, has welcomed more migrants per capita than any other city in the U.S. that doesn’t touch Mexico, shelling out over $58 million to help more than 38,860 migrants. 

Funding Gap

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They’re hoping to see about $12 million of that back from the federal government, but so far, they’ve only gotten a little over $5 million from the state and the Department of Homeland Security.

Bipartisan Calls for Aid


Denver’s Mayor Mike Johnston, who leans Democrat, has previously found common ground with Texas’s Republican Governor Greg Abbott, echoing his calls for help from President Biden’s team to manage the migrant surge.

Budget and Capacity Limits

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Earlier, Johnston flagged that Denver was maxed out on both room and funds to support the 38,000 individuals in need of shelter and more. 

The city’s got a safety net budget-wise only till April, officials point out. 

Aurora Says No

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Just this Monday, Aurora’s City Council, a neighbor to Denver, voted 7-3 against allowing migrants and the homeless to be transported into their area. 

A City and a County

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Aurora’s Mayor Mike Coffman explained to Newsweek that Denver wears two hats: it’s both a city and a county, and it’s the county hat that has access to human services funding Aurora lacks.

Taxpayer Concerns

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Mayor Coffman of Aurora clarified that the city has steered clear of using taxpayer money for aiding migrants, instead urging private citizens and organizations to step up. 

Text Tensions

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He wasn’t a fan of the original resolution text and had hoped to refine it collaboratively, but his proposal was bypassed, although an amendment was adopted to drop the demand for intergovernmental agreements for relocating migrants or the homeless into Aurora — a measure he viewed as likely impractical. 

A Call for Reform

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Coffman squarely blamed Washington, D.C.’s elected officials for the migrant crisis, demanding they fix the situation through comprehensive immigration reform that secures the borders and mends the immigration framework. 

Fix Immigration Now

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“Until then, the federal government must assume responsibility for all costs associated with the support of the recently arrived migrants into the Denver Metro area,” he emphasized. 

Resolution Amendment

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The resolution saw an amendment before voting took place, eliminating a section that would have permitted the city to take in migrants with a pre-established financial agreement, as per Denver’s KMGH-TV. 

Financial Strain

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The officials behind the February 16 resolution pointed to the mounting financial strain from a problem that’s gaining national attention. 

Pragmatic Stance

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Councilman Steve Sundberg expressed a mix of understanding and practicality, stating, “We want to simply let our residents know that although we are empathetic towards the plight of such folks, we cannot host them out of pure reality and our financial situation.”  

He noted that Aurora’s stance echoes the sentiments shared by Colorado Springs officials earlier in the year. 

Legal and Financial Responsibility

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Like El Paso County, they’ve made it clear they do not aspire to be a sanctuary city, urging the Federal Government to step up. Their decisions, Sundberg emphasized, are rooted in financial responsibility, legal compliance, and a solid dedication to the community’s well-being.

Financial Coordination

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The Aurora City Council has adopted a resolution that restricts the entry of migrants without a financial and service coordination agreement, mirroring an earlier stance by Colorado Springs. 

Double Standards

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Sundberg notes the double standards in criticism faced by Aurora compared to Colorado Springs, emphasizing the city’s limited budget and desire to support, not compete with, nonprofit efforts. 

A Federal Matter

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Aurora, not a sanctuary city since 2017, insists immigration is a federal and state matter, urging officials like Governor Polis for action. 

Polis, on Fox News, highlighted it as a national issue, stressing the need for Congressional action on border security and housing solutions.

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