published : 2023-11-19

Denver's Million-Dollar Mission: Transporting Migrants Across America

Cities Overwhelmed by the Migrant Crisis

Denver skyline at sunset, taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The city of Denver has made headlines this week for its extensive efforts to transport thousands of migrants to other parts of the country.

In the past year alone, Denver has spent a staggering $4.5 million on this initiative, helping over 12,000 migrants find new homes outside the city.

The figures were confirmed by a spokesperson for the city's government, shedding light on the extent of Denver's response to the growing crisis.

While Denver aims to provide shelter and support to migrants who wish to stay, many individuals have different destinies in mind.

These migrants often have existing support systems in other cities, such as family and friends, or they believe they will have better opportunities there.

To accommodate their needs, Denver ensures that individual tickets are purchased based on each migrant's destination request, following thorough evaluations of their desires and intentions.

Group of migrants gathered at a shelter in Denver, taken with a Nikon D850

Transportation costs include plane, bus, and train tickets, with the majority of tickets being for ground travel.

However, the number of plane tickets purchased was relatively few, totaling just a few hundred.

Denver's commitment to addressing the migrant crisis extends beyond transportation expenses.

The city's mayor, Mike Johnston, joined other mayors in appealing to the White House for financial assistance from the federal government.

Their request amounts to $5 billion in aid, while the administration is seeking $1.4 billion from Congress to bolster border security.

Denver's commitment to addressing the migrant crisis extends beyond transportation expenses.

Mayor Mike Johnston addressing a press conference on migrant crisis, taken with a Sony Alpha A7 III

The city confirmed in September that it has spent nearly $25 million on migrant sheltering.

To mitigate the growing influx, Denver imposed certain limitations earlier this year, including a 30-day shelter stay limit and prohibitions on returns and engaging in illegal activities.

Migrant transportation has become a contentious political issue, with Texas Governor Greg Abbott previously announcing plans to bus migrants to sanctuary cities, even extending buses to Denver.

Despite Denver's dedication to supporting migrants, other cities, like New York City, have experienced significant repercussions due to the migrant crisis.

With over 130,000 migrant arrivals since last year, New York City has been forced to cut budgets for education, policing, and sanitation to cope with the rising costs.

As the crisis continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how cities across America will navigate the challenges while ensuring the fair treatment and appropriate placement of migrant individuals and families.