Mayor Michael Hancock, a Democrat, issued the declaration as several hundred illegal aliens, mostly from Central and South America, have arrived in the state in just the past few days alone.
“Let me be frank: This influx of migrants, the unanticipated nature of their arrival, and our current space and staffing challenges have put an immense strain on city resources to the level where they’re on the verge of reaching a breaking point at this time,” Hancock said at a news conference on Thursday.
“What I don’t want to see is a local humanitarian crisis of unsheltered migrants on our hands because of a lack of resources,” the mayor added.
According to Hancock’s office, more than 900 aliens have arrived in Denver over the past several months, including more than 600 people since Dec. 2.
Another 247 aliens have arrived since Monday alone, while 75 turned up at a local homeless shelter overnight on Thursday evening, according to his office.
Approximately 404 aliens are currently being accommodated in the city’s emergency shelters, including 102 at church and nonprofit shelter sites, the mayor’s office said.
The “anticipated nature” of the arrival of the influx of illegal aliens has placed extreme pressure on the city’s efforts to shelter them, leading to limited space which is being further exacerbated by a lack of staffing, Hancock’s office said during Thursday’s news conference, noting that winter weather was set to make the situation worse.
Hancock added that Denver is currently “at the level where we are on the verge of reaching breaking point at this time.”
“The declaration is another tool in the toolbox to help serve the increasing number of migrants arriving in Denver, particularly as winter weather sets in,” Hancock said.
Under the emergency declaration, Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, will be alerted that Denver is enacting a state of emergency.