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Aurora residents displaced after Denver leases motel for migrants

Aurora residents displaced after Denver leases motel for migrants
Aurora residents displaced after Denver leases motel for migrants 02:59

Hundreds of migrants who arrived in Denver last month are being sheltered in Aurora. When they checked into the motel, residents who'd been living there for months say they were pushed out.


 The City of Denver is currently providing shelter to more than 2,600 migrants. About 400 of them are staying at the Quality Inn in Aurora. The city says it leased the motel after hundreds of migrants arrived on Thanksgiving.

Joe Sauceda, his partner and their dog have lived at that Quality Inn for nearly a year. When they went to extend their stay, the couple was told the motel could no longer accommodate them.


"We slept in our car Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. It's been cold. We have blankets but still, it was rough." said Sauceda. "People who were staying there, some of them were older. They've been there for years. Where did they go?"

Sauceda works at JJ's Place, a sports bar owned by Aurora councilwoman Danielle Jurinsky. She shared her frustration over Sauceda's displacement at Monday's council meeting.

Aurora Councilwoman Danielle Jurinsky   CBS

 "The city of Aurora is not a sanctuary city. However, Denver prides themself on being a sanctuary city," she said. "This is Denver Mayor Mike Johnston bussing migrants into the city of Aurora, taking up hotels, and throwing American citizens, Aurora residents onto the streets."

In a statement, the City of Aurora writes:

"Denver's decision to transport migrants to a privately owned hotel in Aurora was Denver's decision alone. While Denver provided a general heads up to Aurora about this possibility over the last several weeks, they have not communicated how they will provide resources to the migrants including food, transportation and other services. It would be helpful to understand their plan for these people to get them the resources they need.

It is our understanding that Denver Human Services is leading this effort and should be able to provide more information. We are unable to speak to any specific circumstances of the situation given our limited knowledge of what has transpired.

Without any city-owned shelter space or related infrastructure for migrants, Aurora is currently limited in its ability to house individuals. The city is not structured like the counties that are funded to provide health and human services. We embrace our culturally rich and diverse community and maximize our existing resources as efficiently as possible, but they are not limitless."

In a statement, the office of Mayor Mike Johnston writes:

"This facility was opened in late November with the understanding and cooperation of Aurora and Arapahoe County officials.

Nearly 300 people arrived in Denver on Thanksgiving Day, and we worked quickly to bring on hundreds of rooms to help people get out of the cold. Once we realized other guests had been displaced to another hotel in the chain, we immediately worked with the hotel operator to ensure those guests could return at the same extended-stay rate. The operator also offered to provide those guests with a free week's stay. We will continue to reinforce that we never want to displace guests."

As Saucedo moves back into the motel, he worries this could happen to more people as migrants continue to trickle into Aurora.

"I know they're trying to better themselves by coming here. But the fact is we have our own people that we need to take care of," said Sauceda.  

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