DENVER (CBS4) – The mayor of Denver says the city’s doors are open to migrants. Now, New Mexico’s governor says she knows of no plans to send more immigrants to Colorado.
Saturino Escalante and his son arrived in Denver Monday after a long trip from Guatemala. They were two of 55 immigrants from Central America seeking aslyum.
They were sent to Colorado churches. Nonprofits from New Mexico organizations have been trying to help them connect to family and friends in the United States.
In an interview Monday with CBS4’s Karen Morfitt, Pastor Michael Hidalgo from Denver Community Church said, “What we are doing is we are helping them connect to their family and their friends and their support networks here.”
“We walked a lot we didn’t sleep we didn’t eat sometimes,” Escalante said Monday.
Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico’s governor, paid about $4,000 for a bus to be chartered up to Denver because the state is being overwhelmed by asylum seekers released from custody by the federal government.
A spokesperson for the governor’s office says they are not trying to burden the state of Colorado, they are just trying to help organizations in their state who are dealing with a humanitarian crisis.
It’s a problem local leaders have heard about from their colleagues.
“I’ve had conversations with the mayor of Albuquerque for example. They were seeing as many as a thousand people a month coming into their city,” Mayor Michael Hancock told CBS4’s Shaun Boyd on Tuesday.
Denver Community Church helped 23 people. In addition to giving them sanctuary, their faith community donated food water and clothing to the refugees.
“We do everything in our power to reflect and put hands and feet on the love, mercy and compassion of God that informs our faith as a church,” said Hidalgo. “And so whatever that means for us in our world or city or country, we believe that’s our first response and really our only response.”
Gov. Jared Polis’ office said no state resources were used to transport or help the migrants, and they did not receive a warning the asylum seekers were coming.
New Mexico’s governor says Polis wasn’t given a heads up that these asylum seekers were coming because the idea to help bus was an emergency decision made on a Sunday, but that Polis’ office has been supportive of New Mexico’s efforts to deal with their immigrant crisis.