City to Defund Police to Fund Immigrant Aid

Denver, governed by the Democratic Party and recognized as a sanctuary city, has announced a controversial budget plan that reallocates funds from various public services, including the police department, to finance initiatives for illegal immigrants. Reports indicate that the city intends to allocate $89.9 million for these services by slashing about $45 million from other city programs.

The police department is slated to see an $8.4 million cut, representing 1.9% of its total budget. These reductions will primarily affect unfilled positions within the department. Denver has become increasingly attractive to migrants, with more than 40,000 arriving in 2023 alone, raising the city’s migrant population to approximately 710,000.

Similarly, the fire department will endure a $2.5 million cut, which is about 0.8% of its total expenses, also affecting vacant positions. Despite these cuts, the city plans to continue recruiting police officers and firefighters, though some training classes will be relocated to Denver International Airport to reduce costs.

Additionally, the city’s 911 operators will see changes in their compensation as part of the budget adjustments.

Under this new fiscal strategy, the office of Democratic Mayor Mike Johnston will undergo a budget reduction of approximately $335,155, or 9.6% of its operating budget. Other departments, including the Sheriff’s Department, Public Health and Environment, Executive Director of Safety, and Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, will experience cuts ranging from 1.9% to 3.8%.

Mayor Johnston has defended the budget plan, asserting that it represents a sustainable approach to managing the city’s migrant crisis with dignity, while also maintaining fiscal responsibility. He emphasized that the plan proves that it is possible to address complex challenges compassionately and effectively.

This budget restructuring comes in the context of increased migration to Denver, partly driven by Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s initiative to bus migrants to sanctuary cities. The broader national backdrop includes a significant rise in illegal immigration, with Customs and Border Protection reporting substantial increases in migrant encounters under the Biden administration, highlighting the escalating challenges at both the northern and southern U.S. borders.