Lakewood, Colorado, residents urge city council not to help neighboring Denver with migrant crisis

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Residents of a Colorado city packed a assembly gathering Monday nighttime to definitive outrage complete nan imaginable of becoming a sanctuary for migrants crossing nan confederate border, though officials person formally denied specified an effort.

The metropolis of Lakewood sits conscionable a fewer miles from nan state’s superior of Denver and nan 2 cities often thief each other. However, erstwhile Denver declared it would unfastened its doors and go a sanctuary for migrants, Lakewood did not. As shelters that Denver opened for migrants reached capacity, nan situation now appears to beryllium falling into nan laps of Lakewood. 

Monday’s metropolis assembly gathering comes arsenic officials person signaled a desire to thief their neighbour and arsenic Lakewood was weighing whether to judge a national assistance it was offered for a installation to thief nan city’s homeless. 

Residents person expressed interest it could beryllium utilized to location migrants successful nan city, bringing nan separator situation to their organization – and subsequently urged officials to usage nan shelter to thief Lakewood’s residents and not migrants from Denver. 

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Numerous residents besides told nan assembly connected Monday evening astir worries that migrants could overwhelm nan city's hospitals and infrastructure and summation crime. Residents besides said they had concerns complete really their taxation money would beryllium utilized to salary for migrants. 

During Monday night’s metropolis assembly meeting, City Manager Kathy Hodgson said location was nary scheme to location migrants successful Lakewood.

Residents besides said they were worried astir a gathering Lakewood authorities officials held past period pinch Denver officials, wherever they discussed nan migrant crisis.

The intent of nan gathering was really Lakewood could thief pinch nan migrant crisis, though location is nary charismatic scheme connected really nan metropolis would thief and that immoderate assistance would beryllium voluntary, Hodgson explained.

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She said nan officials discussed "how Lakewood tin study astir nan migrant situation and talk imaginable opportunities to partner arsenic a bully neighbor, responding to nan expanding migrant organization arriving successful Denver."

"The business is beautiful fluid successful nature. So astatine that time, we learned that successful nan past year, Denver had received complete 38,000 migrant newcomers. And this is since December of 2022, astir 200 arrivals per day," she said. "That's what we learned. Denver had spent astir $46 cardinal connected nan migrant newcomers shelter and associated support successful 2023, securing lodging for 4,000 group done 900 leases and providing much than 700,000 meals. Their mean costs has been astir $4 cardinal per month. Denver indicated astatine that constituent that they are anticipating nan costs for 2024 will beryllium astir $180 million."

However, Denver is not seeking to move their migrants into Lakewood facilities, she said.

"Due to nan displacement distant from placing migrant newcomers successful shelters, Lakewood is not being solicited for hotel, motel aliases congregate lodging support," Hodgson explained. "Denver is initiating what’s called a coordinated introduction program, which is dispersing migrant groups to consenting cities passim nan state and extracurricular of nan Denver metro area."

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, a Democrat, is sending migrants crossed nan state done Denver's Onward Travel program, nan metropolis head said.

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"Approximately half of nan caller arrivals deliberately take to beryllium relocated. Today, Denver has purchased astir 19,000 onward proscription tickets for migrants successful 2023, exceeding 5 cardinal successful cost, which averages astir $300 per ticket," she explained.

Hodgson reiterated: "Lakewood has nary domiciled successful this programme and has not been requested to participate successful nan onward recreation program. The attraction is an outreach to cities extracurricular of nan Denver metro region."

Monday night’s metropolis assembly gathering came aft an emergency organization gathering past Tuesday, erstwhile hundreds of residents voiced akin complaints.

Resident Karen Morgan, who said astatine Tuesday’s meeting, said Lakewood has not utilized nan connection "sanctuary," but it has utilized words specified arsenic "good neighbor, welcoming, inclusive, supporting, sheltering," FOX31 reported.

"One meaning of a sanctuary is nan information of being protected aliases comforted. Synonym: shelter," she added.