Migrant workers
Migrant workers Creative Commons

Amid a rift between Utah and Denver regarding Colorado City's ongoing initiative to buy bus tickets for migrants who reach Salt Lake City, Utah Governor Spencer Cox has blamed the Denver Mayor Mike Johnston's staff of not being transparent, even though they have claimed otherwise.

Migrants continue to arrive in Utah, with the state saying it is putting strain on its resources. Denver has served more than 42,000 newcomers, said Jordan Fuja, the spokesperson for Johnston, noting that most of them arrived in organized buses from Texas.

Fuja explained Monday that these newcomers "had no intention of ever coming to Denver," adding "that's why part of our operations include purchasing tickets for newcomers to get to their desired location, where they may have support networks or job opportunities," Colorado News Line reported.

However, last week Cox issued a statement, calling out this practice "completely unacceptable."

The governor said that the Democrat mayor of Denver has been sending illegal immigrants to Utah without proper notification or approval, stressing that it is an example of the "failed catch-and-release policy of the Biden administration."

The Biden administration is facing challenges in enforcing its broad measure due to limited resources, diplomatic constraints, and logistical obstacles. The policy includes a provision for "operational considerations," recognizing the government's inability to deport everyone affected by the measure.

A spokesperson for Governor Cox Jennifer Napier-Pearce said that Denver notified the governor's office in May that it was covering transportation costs for newly arrived immigrants heading to various cities, including Salt Lake City.

According to Napier-Pearce, in the last 30 days, 59 people were transported by bus or plane to Utah. However, she pointed out that Utah doesn't always receive advance notice when a new family arrives from Colorado.

"Just over two weeks ago we learned of an immigrant family at the Salt Lake City airport who had been sent by Denver officials with no resources and no place to go. Denver did not consult with us prior to instigating this practice," she said.

She added, "Since learning of Denver's policy, we've worked with Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City to push back on the Department of Homeland Security, the city of Denver, the state of Colorado and the Biden administration demanding they immediately stop this practice."

The rift comes as, last week, the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General noted there was no effective screening and checking of non-citizens and asylum seekers who were coming to the United States.

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