DENVER — A group of migrants boarded several buses Wednesday morning as they make their way to their final destinations.
A migrant, whom Denver7 is not identifying, has spent a total of eight days in the U.S. so far, with four spent in El Paso, Texas, and four in Denver. He was told his final journey, to New York City, will take about 30 hours. This does not account for the journey to the U.S.
“I want a new life for my kids, a better education and a good job," the migrant said in Spanish.
Many of the more than 3,600 migrants who have arrived in Colorado in the past month are from Venezuela, a place they say could no longer support their lives.
“There are no jobs. The dictatorship is very hard over there. Everything is monopolized," the migrant said.
About 70% of the migrants arriving have plans to go elsewhere, Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday. The recent weather delayed their journeys — until now.
"Everyone's well aware from over the holiday season ... travel got difficult. By doing this, we're just able to help more people get where they're going reliably and safely," Colorado Department of Transportation communications director Matt Inzeo said.
The buses are being coordinated by the Colorado Department of Public Safety. CDOT is providing one of its facilities to serve as a take-off point for the buses, as the facility is near major roads and close to some of the shelters.
Wednesday's buses were headed to New York City and Chicago. These are destinations migrants themselves have chosen. But they may not be welcomed with open arms, as the NYC mayor said Tuesday his city has received more than 30,000 migrants so far.
"We were notified [Monday] that the governor of Colorado is now stating that they are going to be sending migrants to places like New York and Chicago. This is just unfair for local governments to have to take on this national obligation," Mayor Eric Adams said.
In a statement, Gov. Jared Polis says the state is simply helping migrants complete their journeys, but he agrees, the federal government needs to step in.
"I think it's important that we have a national coordinated approach to this, and I really hope the Biden administration steps up, shows some leadership in this area," he said at a press conference Tuesday.