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City of Aurora is considering a resolution to change how it supports migrants

City of Aurora is considering a resolution to change how it supports migrants
City of Aurora is considering a resolution to change how it supports migrants 02:42

The City of Aurora is considering a resolution to change how it supports migrants. Aurora is just one of the many looking at the financial concerns after seeing what's happening in Denver.

"It's ridiculous. It is ridiculous," said Aurora city councilwoman Danielle Jurinsky of the migrant crisis.

That's how Jurinsky described Denver's large volume of migrants and the impact it has had on the Denver metro area during Aurora City Council's Federal, State and Intergovernmental Committee meeting last Friday. She said Denver is slashing millions from its budget to deal with the influx of people, something Aurora will not do.

"We are not going to shut down our rec centers. We are not going to cut our police budget," said Jurinsky. "We are not taking anything out, and that includes staff resources."

Which is why Jurinsky, one of three council members that make up the FSIC, proposed the resolution. It would prevent other cities and organizations from bringing migrants and people experiencing homelessness into Aurora "without an agreement addressing the financial impact and coordination of services."

"This resolution needs to send a clear message," she said in the meeting, "You will receive no services in the city of Aurora. Not from our office of immigration. There will be no staff support. There will be no nonprofit support, or they run the risk of losing city support."

Councilman Curtis Gardner opposed the resolution, arguing it sends "mixed messages" around what city services actually could be provided.

"So, if somebody calls 911, is the fire department supposed to check the immigration status of somebody before they provide life-saving medical care?" he asked.

Jurinsky was heated in her response, calling that argument "farfetched,"  adding that emergency situations are a "no-brainer" and people should use "common sense."

However, a spokesperson with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless told CBS News Colorado she agrees the resolution's language isn't exactly clear. It raises concerns, Cathy Alderman explained, on how it could impact the services the coalition and similar nonprofits provide.

"It's just written so broad," said Alderman. "If our outreach teams are placing someone in housing that they've been working on for months that's currently experiencing homelessness but whose homelessness would be resolved by that housing, do they need to get permission from the city of Aurora in order to help that person move in?"

In a firm response to concerns the resolution could impact unhoused veterans, Jurinsky stated it would not take away the city's support of homeless Americans.

"We're never going to put Americans last," she said, "including our homeless Americans."

Still, Alderman said the resolution "came out of the blue," and she's not really sure what Aurora is trying to solve with it.

"It's not our understanding that there are busloads of people experiencing homelessness or new migrants that are being bussed into the city of Aurora and dropped off with no resources," she said. "I think we all recognize that the influx of migrants and newcomers has put significant strain on our resources, but I'm not so sure that we need to fight this out between cities. Rather, we should join together and put pressure on the state and federal governments to come to our aid."

But Jurinsky doesn't believe the federal government is going to step in to help.

"The point of this is to address our surrounding cities that we already know have bussed migrants in and have thrown Americans out on the street. And, quite frankly, we know the federal government is going to do nothing anyway," she said.

The resolution passed in a 2-1 committee vote Friday afternoon and will now go to the full city council for a study session debate. That could happen as soon as the council's next scheduled meeting on Monday, Feb. 26. 

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