Democratic Colorado governor defends busing immigrants to other states

Colorado Springs Shooting
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks at a memorial set up outside Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Polis, the first openly gay man to be elected governor in the United States, paid tribute to the five victims who were killed when a shooter opened fire at the gay nightclub Nov. 19. (AP Photo/Thomas Peipert)

Democratic Colorado governor defends busing immigrants to other states

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Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) is busing illegal immigrants who have landed in his state of Colorado to Chicago and New York City, drawing ire from his fellow Democrats, his office confirmed Tuesday.

The move echoes the busing campaign that red states such as Florida and Texas have deployed, but Polis defended the move, arguing that about 70% of the immigrants being transported did not have Colorado as their final destination and that his administration is treating them with “dignity and respect.”


“No one should play politics with the lives of migrants who came here to escape oppression, and in Colorado, we are honoring our values of treating people with dignity and respect,” he said in a press release.

“Coloradans would expect nothing less from us to uphold our shared values to assist people fleeing oppression.”

Since Dec. 9, over 3,500 illegal immigrants have arrived in Denver. Most of them were moved from border states such as Texas, according to the city. Michael Hancock, Denver’s mayor, declared a state of emergency last month and has requested federal aid to assist with the influx of immigrants.

Polis called Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, on Monday night to inform him that Colorado planned to send illegal immigrants to the Big Apple. Adams vented frustration at the move.

“We were notified [Monday] that the governor of Colorado is now stating that they are going to be sending migrants to places like New York and Chicago. This is just unfair for local governments to have to take on this national obligation. We’ve done our job. There’s no more room,” Adams told radio host Sid Rosenberg.

New York City has received over 30,000 immigrants from other states over recent months. Most of them are asylum-seekers waiting for court hearings.

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) pioneered the move with Operation Lone Star, and he said he has sent over 16,000 immigrants to sanctuary cities — municipalities that have policies aimed at protecting illegal immigrants. Other states, such as Florida and Arizona, have followed suit.

The busing gambit has garnered national attention and has featured notable instances of immigrants getting dropped off outside Vice President Kamala Harris’s residence and Martha’s Vineyard last year.

Republican governors, including Abbott and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), have slammed the Biden administration for the influx of immigrants flowing across the southern border. A record level of border encounters by Border Patrol was reached during fiscal 2022. Polis echoed the Republicans’ concerns that the federal government should take action to address the situation.

“The stories I’ve heard firsthand from migrants are heartbreaking and we are helping these individuals complete their long and arduous journey. States and cities cannot continue to bear this burden alone and Congress needs to finally step up — we need an immediate route to work permits, and to finally enact better border security and immigration reform,” Colorado’s governor said.


Polis also underscored that the immigrants had been frustrated for being “trapped for a week or two in a place they didn’t want to be through no fault of their own.”

The Washington Examiner contacted officials at the Colorado, New York, Illinois, Florida, and Texas governors’ offices for comment.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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