The residents of a Colorado city reportedly used a recent city council meeting to discuss their concerns about illegal immigrants in their community. These Lakewood citizens helped to shine a spotlight on the consequences and repercussions associated with unchecked immigration and its lasting impact on the community overall.

Longtime Resident Highlights Facts, Figures During Impassioned Speech

Longtime Lakewood resident, March Colum, made waves without hesitation in her speech presented to the City Council. Multiple reports confirm that she focused on the financial toll experienced by struggling families as a result of the influx of illegal immigrants in their city.

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Colum eloquently broke down the mathematics involved with the issue as well – including the costs associated with financial assistance and housing options for undocumented immigrants. Quite a few of the fellow residents in attendance were reportedly moved by her expressions and shared her sentiments.

Registered Nurse Explains Impact On Emergency Rooms, Hospitals

Registered nurse Michelle Lazaro focused on the long-term impact that the high number of undocumented immigrants has had on local hospitals during her speech at the City Council meeting. For instance, the longtime Lakewood resident indicated that hospitals are overcrowded – which undoubtedly puts a strain on the healthcare staff and resources available.

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Lazaro also indicated that emergency services have been overwhelmed as a result of the influx. An apparent shift has started to occur where the needs of accommodating newcomers has overridden the needs and emergencies experienced by the longtime Lakewood residents.

Primary Concern Of Residents Based On Local Need Prioritization

A common denominator of the comments and concerns expressed by the Lakewood residents during the meeting connected to the prioritization of local needs. Within any city or state, the number of residents has a major impact on the distribution of federal funding, hospital capacity, and other essential services.

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With an exponential increased of illegal immigrants in this particular town, that would cause a proportionate decline of the available resources distributed among the longtime residents of the community. Since this would stretch the available essential services very thin, it presents the starting point of a potentially escalating issue with a long-term impact.

Group Sent Out Letter Claiming Lakewood Would Become ‘Sanctuary City’

According to CBS News, a group referring to themselves as “Concerned Citizens in Lakewood” sent out a flyer and letter claiming that the City Council would vote on the community becoming a “sanctuary city.” City officials reported that the group was spreading inaccurate information.

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The letter also claimed that the city planned to house migrants within vacant schools throughout Jefferson County. In addition, the letter alleged that Denver planned to move thousands of migrants to the Lakewood area.

City Of Lakewood Issued Official Statement Before Council Meeting

The city of Lakewood released an official statement before last month’s meeting to address the allegations and false information. It confirmed that nothing posted by some media outlets or online was accurate.

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The statement also indicated that the City Council was not thinking about making Lakewood a sanctuary city. It further affirmed that the proposal of a sanctuary was not made or would be considered by council members.

City Officials Addressed Concerns Of Housing At Vacant Schools

The city also acknowledged and addressed the concerns of using vacant schools as temporary housing for illegal immigrants within its official statement. The city made it clear that it did not manage or even own Jefferson County Public Schools.

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Migrants will reportedly not be housed within the vacant properties of the school district throughout the city. Jefferson County School District R-1 covers most of the metropolitan area throughout Denver. An elected Board of Education governs and oversees the policies and operations within it.

Lakewood City Manager Met With Denver City Officials To Discuss Migrant Crisis

The Lakewood city manager reportedly met with representatives from the City/County of Denver to discuss the migrant crisis and its impact on the Lakewood community. The objective was to also discuss potential collaboration opportunities that could exist in response to growing migrant population in Denver overall.

Source: Flickr/Alan Partridge

According to the briefing from that meeting, Denver has received over 38,000 “migrant newcomers” since December 2022. This equals out to an average of approximately 200 new arrivals each day.

Denver Reportedly Spent $46M On Migrant Housing, Support In 2023

The briefing also indicated that Denver spent $46 million in 2023 alone on newcomer shelters for migrants along with associated support. It also committed to 900 leases to secure housing options for 4,000 people.

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In addition, the city covered the expenses for over 700,000 meals for an average monthly cost of approximately $4 million. It is projected that Denver will likely spend approximately $180 million throughout 2024 in response to the migrant issue.

Denver Planned ‘Coordinated Entry Program’ To Disperse Migrant Groups

The City of Denver reportedly planned to launch a “coordinated entry program.” The program would essentially disperse the migrant groups throughout the country to “willing cities” – specifically outside of the metropolitan area in Denver.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/CB Denver

Further reports indicated that Mayor Mike Johnston is actively working with his administration to personally reach out to “request permission/support to receive the migrants in those cities across the country.” The program is being referred to as the “Onward Travel” program, which the Lakewood city manager indicated “Lakewood has no role in” at all.

Denver Asks Lakewood Residents To Volunteer, Donate To Support Programs

The City of Denver asked Lakewood residents to “assist in the communication of resources available to the migrant community.” In addition, the city requested Lakewood (as a residential community) to volunteer and/or donate to the programs established by Denver to address the migrant issue.

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The first request was relatively simple since it only required the City of Lakewood to refer interested parties to the official website of the City and County of Denver. However, the more substantial request, was designed to be dependent on the “personal decisions” of the metro area residents.

Volunteer Opportunities For Those Wanting To Help Migrants

The City of Denver highlighted several different types of volunteer opportunities available for the residents interested in offering their assistance. For instance, they could volunteer to serve as a host family and adopt a migrant family to live within their current residences.

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They could also decide to make financial contributions or donate essential items, such as clothing, winter gear, underwear, and shoes. Volunteer hours could also be contributed to help the migrants with bilingual speaking skills, case management, and other aspects of education and training.

City of Lakewood Says Request Wants To ‘Address The Humanitarian Crisis’

The City of Lakewood issued a statement in response to Denver’s requests. According to the statement, the focus on the request was to “address the humanitarian crisis through such avenues as mobilizing nonprofit organizations in Lakewood to support Denver’s needs.”

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The statement further indicated that the city’s role could possibly involve “providing access to information and resources.” It could also include “connecting individuals in need with nonprofits nd volunteers” throughout the community.

Group Claimed It’s Time For ‘Elected Officials’ To ‘Listen To Their Constituents’

Within the content of the letter sent by the group, the need for elected officials to step up was highlighted. The letter read that it was time for elected officials to know that Lakewood residents “do not agree with this possible situation of them making Lakewood a Sanctuary City.”

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It further expressed that it was time for those officials to “listen to their constituents.” It added that there were “significant concerns about the ramifications and impacts this will create in our neighborhoods and greater community.”

President Biden Called On Trump To Unblock Plan To Cut Migrant Crossings

President Biden called on Donald Trump last month to assist in the unblocking of plan in Congress designed to reduce migrant crossings during a visit to Brownsville, Texas. Biden said that he would tell Trump to join him “in telling the Congress to pass this bipartisan security bill” instead of “telling members of Congress to block this legislation.”

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore and Shealah Craighead

Trump later cited a list of crimes committed by migrants and referred to the situation as a “Biden invasion over the past three years.” Trump also referred to the border issue as a “war.”