Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has agreed to stop busing migrants to New York City or Chicago following a letter from New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot demanding an end to the practice.
Polis agreed on Saturday to stop transporting them to those two locations.
“[T]he Governor had a very productive conversation with Mayor Adams and Mayor Lightfoot today where he shared that there are no more buses scheduled for migrants from Denver to Chicago at this time, and the final chartered transportation to New York City will be successfully completed tomorrow,” a statement from the Colorado governor’s office read.
“The state is partnering with the city of Denver and non-profits to continue assisting the city of Denver to continue to ensure this process is being conducted in a humane manner,” it added.
The change occurred after a letter from Adams and Lightfoot demanded that Polis end the state’s busing of migrants to their cities.
“It is apparent that the influx of asylum seekers has provoked consternation amongst states. Although we share the concerns of accommodating the flood of asylum seekers, overburdening other cities is not the solution. We respectfully demand that you cease and desist sending migrants to New York City and Chicago,” the letter to Polis read.
The letter also addressed media statements by Polis that downplayed his state’s role in transporting migrants.
“We have seen your statements in the media that you are simply accommodating the wishes of migrants to come to cities like New York City and Chicago,” the letter added.
“Both our cities are working tirelessly to ensure that migrants are able to reach their desired destinations where they are reunited with loved ones. However, you are sending migrants and families to New York City and Chicago that do not have any ties, family members or community networks to welcome them, and at a time where both cities are at maximum capacity in shelter space and available services,” the mayors wrote.
Polis previously addressed a report by Adams to explain why Colorado was busing some migrants to New York City. His office claimed that about 70% of the migrants arriving in Denver did not have Colorado as their final destination.
“No one should play politics with the lives of migrants who came here to escape oppression, and in Colorado, we are honoring our values of treating people with dignity and respect. We are simply carrying out our values of treating every human being with dignity and respect,” the Democratic governor said in a statement on Tuesday.
Chicago has received 3,854 migrants from other states while New York City has received approximately 36,400 over the last nine months, according to the letter from the two governors.
Both Texas and Arizona have bused migrants to sanctuary cities over the past year to respond to the border crisis. Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest update stated that more than 16,000 migrants have been bused from his state, including over 4,900 migrants to New York City since August 5 and over 1,500 migrants to Chicago since August 31.