Democratic leaders in sanctuary states and cities are pleading for help as record-breaking numbers of migrants are entering the country.
Denver Mayor Mike Johnston is the latest sanctuary city Democrat to speak out. Though he proposed a number of solutions on “America’s Newsroom” Friday, Johnston ultimately echoed calls from other Democrats, insisting “more federal aid” is urgently needed.
Johnston previously warned that the border crisis will “crush city budgets around the country,” as he expects 10% of Denver’s entire budget to go toward aiding migrants.
“I have called the White House,” Johnston told hosts Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino. “We’ve told them we need more federal aid. That’s why there’s dollars in that supplemental budget to do that.”
Democratic Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson expressed concern in December, saying his city is “close to capacity.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has pointed fingers at the Biden administration and the state of Texas.
“The federal government must take responsibility and lead on this humanitarian crisis,” Adams said during a Dec. 27 press conference.
He later pivoted focus to Texas and announced a $700 million lawsuit against 17 charter bus companies for bringing migrants in from Texas and leaving New York City with the massive costs to feed, house and provide other necessary services.
“We cannot bear the costs of reckless political ploys from the state of Texas alone,” Adams said. “These companies have violated state law by not paying the cost of caring for these migrants. And that’s why we are suing.”
Johnston is working toward practical solutions, proposing three key steps to address the crisis: expedited processing of asylum claims, work authorizations for migrants, and a nationally coordinated entry system.
The asylum claims, he said, “should take 30 or 90 days, and not six years.”
“Most importantly, when folks arrive in our city, we want them [to have] the ability to work,” he continued. “If they have work authorization when they arrive, they can get to work and support themselves immediately, [they] don’t need federal or state support.”
Johnston said he believes there is nothing more un-American than refusing people the opportunity to work and forcing them to rely on taxpayers.
He also stressed the need for a coordinated effort to place migrants around the country.
“We want the country to be able to work collaboratively to figure out where migrants should arrive and where there’s capacity, in the same way we did with refugees from Ukraine or refugees from Afghanistan,” he said.
“We know how to do this.”
Though Johnston said his city is hitting a “breaking point” with not enough work or housing to accommodate the influx of migrants, he maintained empathy for the state of Texas and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
“I’ve reached out to Governor Abbott and offered to work together. I would still like to do that,” he said. “Texas shouldn’t have to bear the entire brunt, nor should Denver or Chicago or New York.”