Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has announced that the state will halt its program of busing migrants to New York City and Chicago after being chastised by the mayors of both cities.
“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 statement released Saturday.
“We refuse to keep people against their will if they desire to travel elsewhere.”
Polis, a Democrat, stated that he had a “very productive conversation” with New York Mayor Eric Adams and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, both Democrats.
There will be no more buses from Denver to Chicago, and the last chartered transportation to New York City will be completed on Sunday, according to Polis.
“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,” Polis said.
Polis reiterated his position that the United States Congress and President Joe Biden’s administration “must assist states who are facing these challenges through no fault of their own” and he hopes to work with the federal government to provide work permits for migrants in Colorado.
His apparent withdrawal from the program comes after Lightfoot and Adams wrote Polis an open letter outlining their concerns about his plan to send migrants north.
“Although we share your concerns about the influx of asylum seekers, overburdening other cities is not the answer. We respectfully request that you stop sending migrants to New York City and Chicago,” Lightfoot and Adams wrote.
The mayors stated that their cities had received hundreds of migrants from Colorado and that they could not accommodate any more “because of the thousands of migrants that had already been inhumanely bused to our respective cities from Texas since spring of 2022.”
“We have seen your statements in the media that you are simply accommodating the wishes of migrants to come to cities like New York City and Chicago,” the mayors wrote.
“However, you are sending migrants and families to New York City and Chicago that do not have any ties, family members or community networks to welcome them, and at a time where both cities are at maximum capacity in shelter space and available services.”
Polis previously stated that 70% of migrants arriving in Denver “don’t have Colorado as a final destination.”
Governors in Florida and Texas have sent migrants by bus and plane to other cities.jared polis
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