Immigrant Supporters Say Six Months of Free Rent and Food Are Insufficient

( – Despite the city of Denver, Colorado, having spent more than $100 million to support the sudden influx of migrant asylum-seekers in the city, immigrants and immigrant advocacy groups have slammed the city’s new initiative of providing six months of free rent and food as a “slap in the face.”

The new freebies for immigrants are being provided under Denver’s Asylum Seekers Program, as the city struggles to cope and support the more than 40,000 migrants that have sought refuge in one of the so-called “sanctuary cities” since December 2022.

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston announced that the Asylum Seekers initiative was the city government’s way of providing “a long-term, sustainable response” to the migrant crisis the city – and the U.S. in general – is facing at the moment while also allowing Denver to better balance the funds it has on hand to continue to support the city’s other functions.

Under the program, around 1,000 migrants will be eligible to receive not only six months of free housing, but also job training and food assistance while they wait to receive temporary work permits that would allow them to obtain jobs in the U.S. Currently, asylum-seekers have to wait around 180 days (roughly six months) before they receive work permits.

Earlier, Johnston said that Denver would have to make adjustments to its emergency funds in order to address the financial burden the city is experiencing with regard to the migrants it needs to take care of. As things currently stand, the city of Denver expects its expenses for migrant care to reach as high as $180 million, which is more than a tenth of its annual budget.

The situation in Denver is so dire that officials are warning migrant newcomers to seek shelter in other sanctuary cities, such as New York or Chicago, saying that there will be “more opportunities” for them there.

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