Two days after the city of Denver opened an emergency shelter to accommodate more than 100 migrants who arrived in the city from the country’s southern border, another 20 arrived on Thursday, city officials said.
And more may be coming in the days and weeks ahead, Evan Dreyer, deputy chief of staff to Mayor Michael Hancock said at a news conference on Thursday afternoon. With the city’s Emergency Operations Center activated to address the unfolding crisis, many are looking for people to blame.
But Dreyer said Thursday more than 300 migrants have arrived in Denver over the past two months and the sudden arrival of 90 people at the doors of the Denver Rescue Mission overnight Monday into Tuesday does not appear to be the outcome of an act of political theater.
“From what we’ve been able to gather, there was sort of an informal gathering, some on social media among those folks themselves,” Dreyer said of the migrants, many from South and Central America. “This does not appear to be anything that was organized by another government entity to direct people specifically to Denver.”
Dreyer and other city leaders thanked the nonprofit service providers that have been supporting the migrants and the city’s shelter efforts. Denver is directing people who want to help to send monetary donations to Denver Community Church, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Colorado Hosting Asylum Network.
But it’s an ongoing situation that will require more support.
“We are working on longer-term solutions,” Dreyer said. “We hope to do that with the community. Our immediate concern is making sure that in the cold weather that we’re taking care of folks, and they have a warm welcome, here in Denver.”
Roughly 150 migrants arrived at the front doors of the Denver Rescue Mission’s downtown shelter at 1130 Park Avenue West over a 48-hour period earlier this week, spokesman Stephen Hinkel said. That seems to have culminated with the arrival of 90 people at once on Monday night, according to the city’s update Thursday.
Early reports indicated that those people arrived in Denver by bus, disembarking at Union Station before walking over to the Rescue Mission. But the group of immigrants now at the city’s emergency shelter — 120 as of Thursday afternoon — arrived in the city in a variety of ways including by bus, plane and personal vehicles, city officials say.