DENVER — More than 130 migrants have arrived in Colorado's capital in the past week, and that number is expected to grow.
They're coming from Central and South America, and several tell City and County of Denver officials they're from Venezuela.
"We think about 300 migrants have come to Denver over the past two months," Evan Dreyer, deputy chief of staff for Mayor Michael Hancock, said at a press conference. "Over the past week, what had been sort of a slow, steady stream of folks coming increased significantly."
On Friday, Dec. 2, and into the weekend, a group of 40 to 50 migrants began arriving at Denver Rescue Mission. Then, Monday night into Tuesday morning, an additional 90 people arrived.
As of Thursday afternoon, a total of 120 migrants remained at the emergency shelter the city set up earlier in the week.
"Some of them said that they were communicating on Facebook and that there was a group of them that then obtained transportation to Denver," Dreyer said. "This does not appear to be anything that was organized by another government entity to direct people specifically to Denver."
The migrants have used various means of transportation to make their way to Denver, according to Britta Fisher, Denver's chief housing officer.
"Some have arrived through Denver International Airport, some have arrived through buses, some have arrived through personal vehicles," she said.
The city is anticipating more migrants will arrive in the coming days and possibly weeks, so it's calling on nonprofits and church groups to help provide resources and accommodations.
"As you can imagine, one of the most challenging aspects of this has been the immediate sheltering and housing needs," Dreyer said. "It is definitely an added strain."
Anyone who would like to help, including those wanting to volunteer or donate money, can do so by visiting denvergov.org/OEM.