Over 500 immigrant students have been enrolled in El Paso County School Districts

(EL PASO COUNTY, Colo.) — El Paso County Commissioners continue to take a stand against being a sanctuary county, and elected officials are now sharing information on the number of migrants in our region.

Mayor Mobolade: No migrant crisis in Colorado Springs

On Monday, March 25, The Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management (PPROEM) Executive Director Andrew Notbohm provided the Board of County Commissioners with a southwest migrant informational update. The Update detailed the current trends of migrants in the region and focused on their impacts on local schools, hospitals, and non-governmental organization (NGO) shelters.

PPROEM SW Migrant Informational Update (3/25)Download

“While we respect the process of legal immigration, we cannot idly watch our resources drain and our laws crumble,” argued Commissioner Carrie Geitner, El Paso County District 2. “We in El Paso County must draw a line in the sand. We’re not in the business of selling dreams that can’t be fulfilled. Offering sanctuary or support beyond our capabilities is a dangerous game and risks the safety of both migrants and our citizens.”

Between November 2023 and January of 2024, Memorial Hospital Central and Memorial Hospital North provided care for 1,200 new patients who were identified as likely coming from outside the country. This represents a 77% increase from the same period the previous year. The data includes patients who did not have a social security number or who volunteered information indicating they were migrants, were uninsured and were not eligible for Medicaid.

“Our resources are not infinite,” Commissioner Geitner said. “Every decision has to be weighed against the needs of our own community.”

PPROEM officials told commissioners that nearly 40,000 migrants have come into the city and county of Denver since January of 2023. 20,000 of the 40,000 migrants have received transportation out of Denver.

“Do not stop here in El Paso County,” Commissioner Geitner said. “We will not shelter. We do not have the resources.”

The report also found more than 500 immigrant students have been enrolled in El Paso County School Districts.

“I was able to speak to some folks who are tracking numbers in the school districts because this is another potential impact on our community,” Commissioner Geitner said. “Where we are in the school year, schools are funded based on count day in October and if we have a lot of students coming in, then that potentially will put strain for students that there are no dollars that come with those students.”

Local School DataDownload

Commissioners continue to reiterate that El Paso County is not a sanctuary county.

“I will tell you if there was any time that I would be willing to expend any county funds, and this is my personal statement so I want to be clear, it would be a bus ticket to a sanctuary city,” Commissioner Geinter said.

Migrant gate rush in El Paso highlights friction between federal, Texas border enforcement

El Paso County Commissioners tell FOX21 News that some residents have raised the question that if people have crossed the border illegally and are in our community, can the county deport them? Commissioners said that is not within their authority and is something the federal government would have to act on.

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