Denver Mayor: Abbott Doesn't See Migrants Are Following Statue of Liberty, Also Stop Sending Us So Many of Them

On Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Source,” Denver Mayor Mike Johnston stated that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) doesn’t see people crossing the border as people “who are trying to do exactly what the Statue of Liberty says, which is, send us your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” He also stated that he hopes Texas stops sending migrants to Denver during the winter storm and “A strategy of having folks just sent to New York and Chicago and Denver I think is not setting them up for success or setting our cities up for success.”

Host Kaitlan Collins asked, “[T]he Governor of Illinois, Gov. Pritzker (D), he sent a letter to a fellow Gov., Greg Abbott of Texas, asking him to stop sending migrants during the dangerous winter storm, warning that it could kill people. Do you expect that Gov. Abbott — who’s also sent migrants to Denver, I should note — do you expect that he’ll heed that warning?”

Johnston answered, “I would hope that he would. It is incredibly dangerous for us to have folks arriving in the middle of this polar vortex where we’ll have record-low temperatures, but we also think this underscores part of the challenge that the country is facing right now, which is — what we need to make this work is not to have a system where one Governor decides where every migrant in the country gets sent, but instead, a place where we have federal dollars that support new arrivals, they arrive with the ability to work when they get to cities like Denver, and we have a coordinated entry plan so actually all of the cities and states in the country can figure out what their capacity is and take up to that capacity. A strategy of having folks just sent to New York and Chicago and Denver I think is not setting them up for success or setting our cities up for success.”

Later, he added that Abbott has failed to see “the folks that are coming here as human beings who are trying to do exactly what the Statue of Liberty says, which is, send us your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. These are folks that have walked 3,000 miles looking for opportunity. It’s hard for me to get my three kids to the grocery store and back. We have families that are putting their 2 and 4 and 6-year-olds and bringing them 3,000 miles to get to opportunity. I think they’re looking for the American Dream.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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