Listen: In DC, Mayor Mike Johnston has one big ask — Let migrants get to work

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Caitlyn Kim/CPR News
Flanked by Sen. John Hickenlooper, Rep. Brittany Pettersen, Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Jason Crow, from left, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston talks to reporters Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024, outside the U.S. Capitol.

“Wonderfully chaotic.”

That’s how Denver Mayor Mike Johnston described the scene of 300 mayors who gathered in a large Washington, D.C., hotel this week to talk about the issues important to their communities and meet with federal lawmakers and officials.

For Johnston, there was one concern foremost on his mind: the migrant crisis, and its specific impact on Denver.

“We have about 5,000 people in shelter on any given night, and we get 200 or 300 a day, every day, that arrive by bus,” he said. The city expects to spend $180 million in its 2024 budget on sheltering and assisting migrants. Without federal help, that could mean steep cuts for other city services.

Read the full story on Denverite.