Democratic governor sending migrants to NYC

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said the state is “honoring our values of treating people with dignity and respect” by transporting migrants elsewhere.

Updated: January 6, 2023 - 6:47am

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said the state is “honoring our values of treating people with dignity and respect” by transporting migrants to cities like New York City and Chicago; however, New York City Mayor Eric Adams called it “inhumane.”

While New York has received thousands of migrants from other states for months, thus far they have only come from Republican-led Texas and Arizona, which had a GOP governor last year. Colorado’s Polis is a Democrat, like Adams.

Adams accused Polis of pushing the problem to big cities without as much as a heads-up.

“This is just unacceptable,” Adams told reporters Wednesday.

“I think I have been extremely reserved on what has been happening,” he said. “I don’t know if we really understand the magnitude of dropping 30,000 people in this city that’s already gone through a crisis. And it’s as though people just (say), ‘Okay, well, New York handled it.’ And we have handled it.”

In a statement Tuesday, Polis said roughly 70% of the migrants currently in Denver aren’t planning to stay in the Colorado capital. However, the weather and a lack of workers have caused transportation issues that apparently prevent those individuals from reaching their final destination.

Polis said the state is working with Denver officials and nonprofits to help people voluntarily reach their preferred landing place.

“We are simply carrying out our values of treating every human being with dignity and respect,” Polis said. “Coloradans would expect nothing less from us to uphold our shared values to assist people fleeing oppression. The stories I’ve heard firsthand from migrants are heartbreaking, and we are helping these individuals complete their long and arduous journey.”

In New York, the crisis has led to the city converting more than 60 hotels to emergency shelters for its new arrivals. On Wednesday, Adams explained that the city issued a request for proposals for a new relief center to better control the costs associated with sheltering the migrants.

“Every day, we start our day moving around the chess pieces to solve this crisis that we did not create. That’s real,” he said.

Both Polis and Adams said the federal government needs to intervene and take the problem from state and local leaders’ hands.

Adams also fears what may happen once Title 42 ends and more migrants wind up staying in the U.S. He recalled a conversation earlier in the week with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who is experiencing many of the same challenges.

“She says, ‘Eric, we have been a little too patient. We can’t do anything to embarrass our families. But it’s about time we start to do that,’” he said.

“This is inhumane of what’s happening, and I’m just blown away that many people are critiquing us. No, critique the people who made this mess that are placing people in this environment.”