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City serves 10,000 migrants, buys more than 5,000 bus tickets

As Venezuelan migrants continue to arrive in Denver, city resources are strained – the city bought 5,340 bus tickets for migrants leaving for other cities.

DENVER — As more than 100 migrants arrive daily seeking shelter and help, information from the City of Denver reveals most of the 10,000 visitors who arrived here since late last year have moved on to other places by bus. 

The city does not have a breakdown of country of origin, but anecdotal accounts from city officials and immigration advocates indicate the vast majority of daily newcomers to Denver are Venezuelan as people flee the country’s shattered economy. 

As Biden's administration allowed the expiration of a crucial immigration rule last week, migrants chose to try their chances in the United States with fears it may be harder to stay in the country. 

On Tuesday, the city told 9NEWS it purchased 5,340 bus tickets for migrants who decided to leave Denver since December 2022 – with the vast majority heading to Chicago and New York. 

According to the Greyhound website, bus tickets are sold out from Denver to Chicago or New York on Tuesday. The earliest tickets available to the two cities is Wednesday and tickets run approximately $300 to $400 one way.

>> Watch video above. In Denver, many migrants are just passing through

The city counted 10,000 migrants arriving to the city since Dec. 9 with more expected to arrive here by bus from El Paso in the coming days and weeks.  

The city could not say exactly why Chicago and New York have been the preferred destinations, but said each visitor decides where they want to go. 

Last December, the non-profit publication Borderless Magazine reported a community of Venezuelans fleeing their country and how the people of Chicago have welcomed previous waves of migrants.

“Congregated mostly in the city’s Edgewater neighborhood along Buena Street, the city’s “Buenazuela” has welcomed previous waves of Venezuelan immigrants who fled the unstable political and economic situation in their home country,” the Borderless Magazine article said. 

NPR reported the City of New York is experiencing overrun shelters and strain on resources.

In Denver, Mayor Michael Hancock called the wave of migrants visiting the city a humanitarian crisis that has put financial strain on city resources. 

“The city is doing everything possible to ensure people are not unsheltered, especially given sudden changes in weather that often occur in Denver during the spring. Currently there are five shelters housing more than 1,000 people,” Denver’s Joint Information Center said in a press release on Tuesday. 

Two migrants who temporarily stayed at a church shelter in Denver last week said they came to the city because they knew it was a “sanctuary” where immigration officials don’t bother newcomers. 

The city continues to call out for donations and community support as it seeks to gain more emergency funding from the federal government. 

If you have any information about this story or if you would like to send a news tip, you can contact jeremy@9news.com



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