What we know — and don't — about the migrants arriving in Denver
The migrants who arrived in Denver this week were not sent by a government agency, but instead they coordinated across social media, city officials said Thursday.
Driving the news: At least 90 migrants arrived by bus Monday, leaving the city scrambling to find accommodations and prompting the activation of the emergency operations center.
- Another 40 to 50 migrants arrived last weekend.
Details: Based on what city officials have heard from migrants, many communicated and organized on Facebook to travel to Denver.
- The migrants are largely from Central and South America, including Venezuela.
- On Tuesday, the city opened a recreational center as an emergency shelter to accommodate 120 people.
What they're saying: Evan Dreyer, Mayor Michael Hancock's deputy chief of staff, said Thursday he was unsure why they chose Denver.
- Other migrants have gone to mountain communities, according to emergency management office spokesperson Mikayla Ortega.
- Among the migrants were three to four children, per Mimi Scheuermann, chief operating officer at Denver Human Services
By the numbers: All told, at least 300 migrants have arrived in Denver over the past two months, Dreyer said.
- The city expects that number to grow, though it's unclear by how many.
Context: Governors in states such as Texas or Florida have sent migrants to liberal cities like Denver, but there's "no evidence of that" in this case, Dreyer said Thursday.
- The migrants were expected, and Dreyer said the city had seen "a slow, steady" number of arrivals — between 20 to 30 a day — over the past few months.
The intrigue: Denver officials are perplexed by the sudden jump in migrant arrivals.
- In addition, their immigration status is unclear and it's unknown how long they intend to stay.
Zoom in: Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs director Atim Otii said the Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund will help people seeking to permanently relocate in Denver.
- Dreyer said the city is putting a call out to faith-based and nonprofit organizations for help.
- The city is also asking people who are interested in making donations to visit its website, which has links to several nonprofits helping the city.
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