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Hickenlooper Meets Local Leaders, Migrants in Denver, Aurora, to Address GOP’s Immigration Obstruction

Feb 15, 2024

Hickenlooper: ‘The federal government can’t expect the local communities to bear the full brunt [of this crisis].’

DENVER – Yesterday, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper met with Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, local elected officials, migrants, and community leaders to discuss Denver and Aurora’s response to recent migrant arrivals. 

The group stopped at an encampment near Elitch Gardens before meeting with migrant families at Little Sisters of the Poor, one of the nine Denver shelters housing over 3,600 new arrivals. Afterwards, Hickenlooper traveled to Stanley Market in Aurora to meet with Aurora and Arapahoe County officials, migrants, Aurora-based nonprofits, and neighborhood support groups.

“The federal government should make sure there are either ways for people to work or provide the resources to communities like Aurora or Denver, where they can actually deal with the problem in a respectful way,” said Senator Hickenlooper. “We’ve got to make sure there are resources for counties, municipalities, and states to get through this.”

More than 38,000 migrants have arrived in Denver since December 2022, straining the city’s budget and resources. Denver has now received more immigrants per capita than any city in the nation.

Last week, Senate Republicans blocked a bipartisan immigration bill which included $1.4 billion in federal funding and measures to speed up work permits for asylum seekers.

Since the migrant crisis began, Hickenlooper has advocated for additional federal support for cities like Aurora and Denver that have borne the brunt of expenses for taking in migrant families, for cutting red tape to ensure skilled laborers and H2-B visa workers can fill workforce gaps, and phasing out outdated visa caps. Additionally, Hickenlooper heard requests from city and state officials for expedited work permit authorizations so newcomers arriving to Denver could get to work, successfully advocating for an extension of DHS Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela nationals, encompassing thousands of migrants who came to Colorado after December 2022.


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