WATCH: Liberal Mayor Demands Citizens ‘Sacrifice’ To Welcome Migrants

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In a segment of an interview with CNBC that was taped in February and broadcasted on the show “Cities of Success,” Denver Mayor Mike Johnston provided his perspective on whether the city’s approach towards migrants was excessively welcoming and generous. He’s recorded as saying:

“it’s a balance. We want to be a welcoming city” but doing that without federal help “requires shared sacrifice, it requires compromise. So, we are both making cuts to city budgets to meet this financial need, and we are making cuts to the amount of services we can provide to the migrants that arrive and to the number of folks that we can serve.”

Johnston was then forced to admit that the actual amount of illegal immigrants descending upon the city was “much higher than what we thought. I will say, what we’re very proud of is, like other problems, we’ve taken this on, we’ve figured out an entrepreneurial approach, and we’ve figured out a path to solve it. Of the 40,000 migrants who have arrived in this city, as of tonight, I have a regular count, we have about 40 to 45 migrants total that are unsheltered tonight. That means 99.9% of those 40,000 have come through, gotten connected to services, housing, work, and made it successfully. So, we figured out how to run this machine, how to welcome people, get them connected to legal clinics, provide them wrap-around resources. To do that well just requires resources, and so, our challenge is, we can do it well with federal help, we can do it well with more work authorization, we can do it well with a coordinated plan for entry. Without any of those three, the work becomes tougher. But we’ve now doubled down, assuming there’s no federal help coming, and we’re going to figure it out on our own.”

Host Carl Quintanilla then asked, “What do you say to Denverites who say, we were too generous, we gave away — we opened the door too wide?”

Johnston responded, “We think it’s a balance. We want to be a welcoming city where you don’t have a woman with a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old sleeping outside in a tent in ten-degree weather in a snowstorm. That’s one of our values. And we also want to be able to provide high-quality public services to all the taxpayers. That’s also one of our values. And in this context, without any federal support, to do both of those things requires shared sacrifice, it requires compromise. So, we are both making cuts to city budgets to meet this financial need, and we are making cuts to the amount of services we can provide to the migrants that arrive and to the number of folks that we can serve.”

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