NewsFront RangeAurora


Aurora City Council approves resolution halting financial support of migrants, unhoused population

aurora city council migrant resolution approval
Posted at 10:45 PM, Feb 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-27 14:00:25-05

Lea este árticulo en español

AURORA, Colo. — The Aurora City Council voted 7-3 on Monday to approve a resolution that halts city support of migrants and people experiencing homelessness.

“We are bringing forward a resolution to let cities know that they're not allowed to bus migrants into our community without us knowing," said Councilman Steve Sundberg. “We want to simply let our residents know that although we are empathetic towards the plight of such folks, we cannot host them out of pure reality and our financial situation.”

The resolution was amended just before the vote, eliminating a portion that would have allowed Aurora to accept migrants if a financial agreement was reached beforehand.

“Colorado Springs did this five weeks ago. We were called racist for doing it. But they didn't attack Colorado Springs or their mayor for doing the exact same thing. They didn't touch the busing part of it. But they came to the realization that their budget is finite, and so is ours," said Sundberg. “We're not going to work against nonprofits. We want them to do the work that they're cut out to do and fundraise for it.”



Aurora considering halting support of migrants, unhoused without prior agreement

Claire Lavezzorio
10:23 PM, Feb 16, 2024

The City of Aurora declared that it was not a sanctuary city through a resolution in May 2017.

“To actually claim that you're a non-sanctuary city is a little bit upsetting for a city that does have 20% of its demographic are immigrants and refugees. So that's a little bit confusing, as well," said Amanda Blaurock, co-founder and executive director of the Village Exchange Center. “We’re three or four blocks away from Denver, and if you're somebody from another country who's just sorting out where you are, you don't know you've crossed over a city or a county divide. And here, we are just opening our doors to serve people in a dignified way. However, we're getting in conflict because we happen to be in a city that's not wanting to be welcoming of these new immigrants. That creates a tension for us and makes it very difficult.”

Blaurock said the Village Exchange Center, a nonprofit organization, provides a number of services for people who need them, including providing meals, wraparound services for newcomers and vaccine clinics.

“Every week, we're serving about 3,300 people per week. A big portion of those people are some of the new immigrants from Venezuela," said Blaurock. “In July of 2023, we had 200 families that we were serving. And by August, we were already up to 400 families, and now about 650 families, comprising of three to six people per family.”

aurora city council building.png


Aurora City Council to consider halting financial support of migrants, unhoused

Russell Haythorn
4:24 PM, Feb 26, 2024

Originally, Blaurock did not support the resolution. However, with amendments made to the resolution, she has changed her mind.

“The first resolution that came out was quite concerning for us as a nonprofit," said Blaurock. “The original resolution really was going to hinder the ability to do the work that we do here at the Village Exchange Center. There's been a clause that was added that honors the nonprofits in Aurora that actually serve immigrants, refugees and the unhoused population that have come to Aurora on their own volition. That's a very different clause than was in there previously. So that allows us, those of us that are serving the new immigrant population, to not be in any contradiction with the city."

Some councilors argued that the resolution was simply the city being fiscally responsible, saying they do not want to see budget cuts like Denver has implemented. However, those who oppose the resolution, including Khalid Mhareb, said they would be understanding of budget cuts to Aurora city services if the money was being spent on a worthy cause, like supporting migrants.

“Why are we not taking away money from the Aurora police department?” asked Mhareb. “Aurora is supposed to be a safe haven for immigrants, even though we're not a sanctuary city like some of our council members want to say... Aurora is an all-American city. That's what we're nicknamed. I think immigrants are what make America great.”

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.