Denver Shares Guide to Help Others Turn Sanctuary State

Idomeni, Greece - September 24 , 2015: Hundreds of immigrants are in a wait at the border between Greece and FYROM waiting for the right time to continue their journey from unguarded passages

Denver officials have created a guidebook to help other cities become “sanctuary” regions and welcome more migrants at taxpayers’ expense. The guide, “Newcomers Playbook: A Guide to Welcoming Newcomers into Your City,” offers advice on how to establish intake centers and fund housing, food, and medical care. It even encourages using fraudulent social security numbers (SSNs) in online documents. “If an online application requires an SSN to move forward in the online portal, we have entered 123-45-6789,” it states. 

Democratic Mayor Mike Johnston has previously complained of financial strain as tens of thousands of migrants arrived. Johnston shipped some immigrants to other areas and recently implemented a number of public service cuts to help fund migrant services. Nevertheless, his administration says it is “proud” to produce the new guidebook and encourage other US cities to follow suit. 

In April, Johnston announced that Denver would pay to house migrants for six months and provide skills training and access to immigration attorneys. He said his city would turn toward American values in the face of the migration crisis but blamed the federal government for turning its back and forcing them to fend for themselves. 

Almost 40,000 illegal immigrants arrived in the Colorado capital in 2023, and reports indicate that roughly half of these were transported on to other areas. Jon Ewing of Denver’s Human Services department said the transfers out of the city are at the migrants’ request. He said they know where they want to go, and Denver helps to get them there. The top destinations are New York and Chicago, as many migrants have family and friends there, Ewing added. 

The Common Sense Institute has calculated that despite the high number of migrant departures, care for newcomers cost north of $100 million last year. Much of the cost is attributed to healthcare, which reportedly cost $10 million over a three-month period and accounted for almost 10% of uncompensated hospital treatments.