DENVER — Denver received its first busload of migrants from Texas Thursday, the City of Denver and Texas Governor Greg Abbott's office confirmed.
Forty migrants were dropped off near Civic Center Park at 14th Street and Court Place, according to a statement from the Texas governor.
"Texas' overwhelmed and overrun border communities should not have to shoulder the flood of illegal immigration due to President Biden's reckless open border policies, like his mass catch and release without court dates or any way to track them," said Abbott in a statement. "Until the President and his Administration step up and fulfill their constitutional duty to secure the border, the State of Texas will continue busing migrants to self-declared sanctuary cities like Denver to provide much-needed relief to our small border towns."
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in a response called the move "political theater" and said he was "more than happy to send [Abbott] the bill for any additional support we have to provide."
“What is happening at the border, and what is showing up at the doorsteps of cities across the country, is a humanitarian crisis. What none of us need is more political theater and partisan gamesmanship pitting jurisdictions against each other and exacerbating this situation instead of advocating for real solutions to this challenge," said Hancock in a statement. "If Gov. Abbott thinks he’s going to win over allies to his cause here in Denver with this latest stunt, he’s going to be sorely mistaken. And we’re more than happy to send him the bill for any additional support we have to provide now because of his failure at managing his own state.”
In April 2022, Abbott directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to transport migrants from Texas to Washington, D.C. via buses. New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia were added as "additional drop-off locations" last year, according to the Texas governor's office.
In a tweet, Abbott said Texas will continue to bus migrants to sanctuary cities until the border is "secure."
Texas has sent more than 19,000 migrants to sanctuary cities since last spring, according to the state.