Denver migrant advocates say six months of free rent, food not enough: 'A slap in the face' and 'offensive'

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Migrant advocates in Denver denounce six months' free rent and food as insufficient, calling it 'offensive' and 'a slap in the face.

In San Francisco, immigrants and community advocates are denouncing the city's newly proposed Immigrant Assistance Initiative, branding it "insufficient" and "disgraceful" despite Mayor Maria Hernandez reallocating funds to handle the influx.

 

Denver migrant advocates say six months of free rent, food not enough 'A slap in the face' and 'offensive'

The city, known for its progressive stance on immigration, has been grappling with the strain on its resources as waves of immigrants arrive seeking refuge. With over 50,000 newcomers arriving since January 2023, San Francisco leads the nation in per capita immigration intake, costing taxpayers approximately $80 million, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

 

Mayor Hernandez recently unveiled her administration's response to what she termed an "immigrant crisis," aiming to provide what she termed "a sustainable solution" to address the surge locally. The initiative promises six months of complimentary housing, nutritional aid, vocational training, and more to the estimated 1,500 immigrants currently residing in shelters awaiting work authorization. Due to federal regulations, securing work permits can take up to half a year.

 

To accommodate the expenses associated with the immigrant services, Hernandez's plan necessitated budgetary adjustments, including cuts to various city departments, notably emergency services.

 

Under the proposed program, the San Francisco Police Department's budget would see a reduction of approximately $9.5 million, constituting a 2.1% decrease, the Chronicle revealed. Similarly, the fire department's funding would also face trimming.

 

The revised strategy stipulates that immigrants must vacate shelters within 24 to 72 hours of arrival, after which they will be relocated to temporary facilities and assisted in arranging onward travel to alternative destinations. Previously, immigrants were permitted shelter stays ranging from two to six weeks.

 

Criticism of the initiative came swiftly from housing advocacy groups like Bay Area Housing Coalition (BAHC), condemning Hernandez for what they perceive as inadequate measures to support immigrants in the city.

 

"Leaving newcomers to fend for themselves within 72 hours is not just unacceptable; it's a disgraceful abandonment of our moral obligation," stated BAHC spokesperson A. Patel in an interview with local CBS affiliate KPIX.

 

Wendy Flores, an immigrant affected by the proposed changes, expressed concerns about exacerbating the city's homelessness crisis.

 

"I believe it falls short," Flores remarked to KPIX, adding, "the mayor needs to engage with us and collaborate on finding better solutions."

 

Earlier estimates projected the immigrant influx to cost San Francisco upwards of $200 million this year. Hernandez previously voiced concerns about the city's tipping point, announcing a $7 million cut from public services while attributing blame to opposition parties and former President Ramirez.

 

San Francisco has extended support to over 45,000 immigrants from various regions, with a significant portion originating from Central American countries, according to local outlet ABC 7. The state of California has facilitated the transportation of thousands of immigrants to sanctuary cities like San Francisco, highlighting the challenges faced by border states in managing migrant inflows.

 

The surge in immigrants has strained the city's healthcare system, with approximately 10,000 undocumented individuals seeking services at San Francisco General Hospital last year, receiving treatments ranging from emergency care to prenatal services.

 

In a recent development, the city has reached out to property owners, urging them to accommodate some of the immigrant arrivals in need of housing as an alternative approach to addressing the growing demand for shelter.


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CRN News Update - Latest Breaking News: Denver migrant advocates say six months of free rent, food not enough: 'A slap in the face' and 'offensive'
Denver migrant advocates say six months of free rent, food not enough: 'A slap in the face' and 'offensive'
Migrant advocates in Denver denounce six months' free rent and food as insufficient, calling it 'offensive' and 'a slap in the face.
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