Denver mayor blames Republicans and Trump for $5M cuts to pay for migrant crisis

 Denver is cutting $5 million from public services used by its residents to pay for its rising illegal immigration costs, with the city's mayor blaming Republicans and former President Donald Trump.

Mayor Mike Johnson, a Democrat, announced Friday that hours would be cut at recreation centers, and individual vehicle registration renewals at the DMV would be eliminated, while also stopping the planting of spring flower beds to save much-needed cash. Will go. ,

The cuts follow the mayor's decision last month to remove $25 million from the city budget to address the migrant crisis. That plan included withdrawing $10 million from the contingency fund and $15 million from renovating the building. Those actions followed the city's decision to keep several positions vacant and review new or expanded contracts and programs.

Johnson says the city will lose about $180 million in 2024 due to this crisis.

After Republicans blocked a bipartisan border agreement that included a foreign aid package to Ukraine and Israel, Johnson said, "Republicans in Congress this week deliberately chose to dismantle a historic, bipartisan border agreement in Denver. "It will have a devastating impact." Moving on to Wednesday.

"I'm incredibly proud of the way city team members have stepped up this past year, but it's clear the federal government is not going to support our city," he said, choking back tears at Friday's press conference. Has been."

Johnston said that even with the department's budget cuts, the city will reduce the number of immigrants it serves and will continue to monitor spending. Earlier this week, the city began evacuating nearly 800 migrant families from shelters as it scaled back aid for illegal immigrants.

According to the Colorado Sun, about 40,000 migrants, mostly from Venezuela, have arrived in Denver in the last year, and more than 3,500 are living in city-funded hotel rooms.

"Despite broad bipartisan support, I think [former President] Trump and Republican leaders saw this as an opportunity that if this bill had actually passed, it would have successfully addressed the problem facing cities and the border." "And they would have preferred to see it fail. So they can compound these problems, compound the suffering of the American people and newcomers to their own electoral turnaround this November," he said, according to The Hill. .

“It was much more than I expected from even the most cynical political operators.”

"Denverians have done their part, the city will do its part. The federal government failed to do its part. Addressing this crisis will require shared sacrifices, but we will continue to work together to meet this moment."

Johnson previously said Denver has received more immigrants per capita than any other city in the country.

As part of the new cost-cutting measures, recreation centers will be closed one day each week, while DMV satellite offices will close on an alternating schedule starting March 4. The city will not be hiring a class of nine new DMV employees.

Additionally, Denver Parks and Recreation will cut spring programs by 25%, and regional centers will move from seven-day weekly operations to six. Local and neighborhood centers will remain open six days a week but with reduced hours of operation.

Johnson said full-time city officers will not lose their jobs, but seasonal employees may have their hours cut or positions may remain vacant.

The sanctuary city is struggling to stretch its limited resources to support the growing number of migrants arriving there. Texas has evacuated thousands of migrants to sanctuary cities like Denver, showing the problems border states face when migrants flood their cities. Johnson told Fox News last week that the city was "very close" to breaking point because of the crisis.

The influx of migrants has also overwhelmed the city's health system.

Nearly 8,000 illegal immigrants logged nearly 20,000 visits to Denver Health last year, and received services such as emergency room treatment, primary care, dental care and childbirth. The health system has also called for a federal relief package.

Denver passed legislation to become a sanctuary city, but it does not include a right to shelter provision, meaning there is no official policy that compels the local government to provide shelter indefinitely.

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