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Immigration

Sara Carter: The border crisis is ‘astounding’

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Sara Carter joined “The Next Revolution” with host Steve Hilton on Sunday to discuss her experience at the southern border and her growing concerns with the influx of migrants.

Carter has spent the last six weeks documenting the crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border. She just recently returned from Tijuana, Mexico where she spoke with migrants and border patrol agents.

“It is a crisis that is astounding,” Carter told Hilton. “The only people benefiting from this are the drug cartels, the human traffickers, and the politicians who are using people as political pawns and especially the children.”

Moreover, Carter said she met many young children who had been separated from their families and some who had been victims of trafficking.

“I can’t stress enough that this is just the beginning of a crisis that is going to overwhelm our system this year,” Carter said.

President Joe Biden finally referred to the influx of migrants at the southern border as a “crisis” for the first time on Sunday.

For months, the Biden administration has avoided using the word “crisis” and instead referred to the border as a “challenge.”

Biden admitted over the weekend that his administration was focusing on the “crisis” and now the administration is ready to increase the number of refugees allowed into the country.

“We’re going to increase the number [of refugees],” Biden said. “The problem was that the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up on the border with young people. We couldn’t do two things at once. But now we are going to increase the number.”

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Report: Denver area migrants cost $340 million to shelter, educate

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A report by the free-market Common Sense Institute found the more than 42,000 migrants who have arrived in Denver over the last year and a half have cost the region as much as $340 million. The city of Denver, local school districts, and the region’s health-care system have spent between $216 million and $340 million combined to shelter, feed, clothe, and educate the migrants, and to provide them with emergency medical care.

National Review explains the report builds off a previous report from March that conservatively found that the migrants had cost the region at least $170 million. “Costs are never localized,” said DJ Summers, the institute’s research director. “They expand outward.”

Democratic leaders are being blamed for their welcoming posture toward immigrants generally, and their sanctuary-city policies, which curtail law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration agents. Since late December 2022, at least 42,269 migrants — or “newcomers” as Denver leaders call them — have arrived in the city, adds National Review.

The Common Sense Institute report found that the migrant crisis has also hit local emergency rooms hard with extensive expenses. Since December 2022, migrants have made more than 16,000 visits to metro emergency departments. At an estimated cost of about $3,000 per visit, that has resulted in nearly $48 million in uncompensated care.

Summers said those costs are “stressing existing health care organizations,” but they also indirectly hit residents in their pocketbooks through increased insurance prices.

Metro school districts have endured the biggest financial hit — estimated between $98 million and $222 million — according to the Common Sense Institute report. The large range in costs is due to the difficulties researchers had identifying exactly how many new foreign students are tied to the migrant crisis.

The researchers found that since December 2022, 15,725 foreign students have enrolled in local schools. Of those, 6,929 have come from the five countries most closely identified with the migrant crisis — Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

On average, it costs a little over $14,000 to educate a student for a year in a Denver-area public school, but Summers said migrant students likely cost more.

“They have transportation needs that are different, they have acculturation needs that are going to be different, language assistance needs that are going to be different,” he said. “Many of them might need to get up to speed in curriculum. They might need outside tutoring.”

Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers approved $24 million in state funding to help school districts statewide plug budget holes related to the migrant students.

Summers said the updated Common Sense Institute tally is likely still missing some costs related to the ongoing migrant crisis.

“There are definitely additional costs. We just don’t have a great way to measure them just yet,” he said, noting legal fees, crime, and unreported business and nonprofit expenses.

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