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New York, Chicago mayors demand that Polis stop sending migrants to their cities

Both are urging Colorado Governor Jared Polis to halt the practice of bussing migrants to their cities.

DENVER — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and New York City Mayor Eric Adams are urging Colorado Governor Jared Polis to stop the practice of bussing migrants to their cities. 

In a letter penned to Polis Saturday, Lightfoot and Adams wrote, "We respectfully demand that you cease and desist sending migrants to New York City and Chicago. Since December of 2022, Chicago and New York City have received hundreds of individuals from Colorado."

This follows comments made earlier this week on Tuesday by Adams where he expressed his concerns in an interview with WABC radio. 

"We were notified yesterday that the Governor of Colorado is now stating that they are going to be sending migrants to places like New York and Chicago. This is just unfair for local governments to have to take on this national obligation," Adams said.

Recently, both cities have seen a big influx of migrants, with Chicago seeing upwards of more than 3,800 and New York City seeing over 36,000 asylum seekers. 

In a conversation with Adams and Lightfoot, Polis informed them that there would be no more scheduled buses headed from Denver to Chicago at this time, and that the final bus trip to New York City would be completed on Sunday. 

According to the City of Denver, more than 3,600 migrants have arrived in Denver since early November. Since then, the city has said that about 1,600 have left because Denver was not their endpoint destination. 

“People fleeing violence and oppression in search of a better life for themselves and their families deserve our respect not political games and we are grateful we have been able to assist migrants to reach their final destination," Polis said in a release. "We refuse to keep people against their will if they desire to travel elsewhere. While the federal government and Congress, unfortunately, have failed the American people on immigration reform and border security, Colorado continues to assure culturally competent and humane support to help assist migrants escaping oppression.”   

While Polis said the migrants moving on are doing so voluntarily, it's unclear if any decided to leave simply because of a lack of resources in Colorado. 

Denver city leaders now estimate they've already spent more than $1 million on sheltering efforts and could spend about $3 million over the next few months.


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