Utah Gov. Cox criticizes Denver mayor for busing migrants to Salt Lake City

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(The Center Square) – Denver Mayor Mike Johnston is facing criticism from neighboring Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, who said Colorado’s capital city has been sending migrants to his state “without proper notification or approval.”

“This is completely unacceptable and follows on the failed catch-and-release policy of the Biden administration,” Cox, a Republican, said in a tweet on Friday morning. “Every state has received illegal immigrants and Utah’s resources are completely depleted.”

Cox was referencing reporting by KUTV that said Denver has paid to bus approximately 2,000 migrants to Salt Lake City.

“All 50 states, including Utah, are now border states due to the failed immigration policies of President Biden and Congress,” Cox added in the tweet. “Once again we call on the Biden administration and Congress to solve this crisis.”

Johnston’s office did not immediately respond to The Center Square’s request for comment.

As of Monday, 42,249 migrants who entered the country illegally have arrived in Denver since December 2022 at an estimated cost of $71 million, according to the city.

“Any individual who travels through our system makes their own decision on their destination,” Jon Ewing, who works for the Denver Department of Human Services, told KUTV. “We are simply helping people connect with family, friends, or existing support systems.”

Denver recently sent two city employees to El Paso, Texas to dissuade migrants arriving in the U.S. from traveling to Denver, The Center Square previously reported.

A report by the Common Sense Institute, a free-enterprise think tank in Colorado, estimates city, education and health care spending on migrants totals between $216 million to $340 million.

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