Migrants Send List of 13 Demands to Denver Mayor

By: Ben Campbell | Published: May 14, 2024

A group of migrants, their determination unyielding, have set up camp on the bustling streets of Denver, steadfast in their resolve to stay put until their urgent list of demands is met. 

In total, 13 demands were sent to Denver’s mayor, Mike Johnston, after the migrants heard officials were planning to move them from the encampment to shelters funded by the city.

Migrants Issue Demands to Denver Mayor

Denver has seen a dramatic increase in migrants living on its streets and in large encampments over the past few years despite having shelter programs. 

An image of the mayor of Denver, Mike Johnston

Source: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

An extensive group of migrants who have been camped under a bridge near train tracks in the city have come forth and said they will not be moved unless all of their demands are met, per KDVR

The Migrants Want to Cook Their Own Food

Food is number one on the migrants’ list. They want to be allowed to “cook their own food with fresh, culturally appropriate ingredients,” which includes staples such as tomatoes, onions, chicken, rice and flour. 

An image of a family pictured cooking in their kitchen

Source: Freepik

The migrants are adamant that they prepare their own fresh food rather than eating the premade meals provided by the shelter.

Visits By Medical Professionals

Number two on the migrants list is they require access to clean facilities, including showers, and they want this without time limits on when they can be accessed. 

An image of a man attending a checkup appointment with his local doctor

Source: Freepik

The migrants’ third demand is regular visits by medical professionals. They also want specialty care for those who need it. 

Migrants Demand Housing

At number four on their list, the migrants want equal opportunity in housing and demand that city officials not “kick people out in 30 days without something stable established.”

An image of a large apartment block in the center of a city

Source: Wikimedia

Number five relates to four in that should a migrant be removed from their home, they demand a “clear” and “just” process, including warnings and a final message.

Employment Support

The migrants’ sixth demand is centered on employment support. They are requesting work permit applications for all who qualify at the encampment. 

A lawyer is pictured shaking hands with his client

Source: Freepik

The seventh demand centers on free legal counsel from immigration lawyers, continued support by legal clinics in the city for anyone who requires help and transportation to court when needed.


Privacy in the Shelter

Demand number eight requires privacy for all migrant families in the shelter, ensuring they can live peacefully should they choose to live within the government facilities. 

An image of a security guard pictured with a radio during his shift

Source: Freepik

The migrants’ ninth demand is also centered on the shelters. They do not want to be monitored 24 hours per day by law enforcement and want promises that the shelter staff will not mentally or physically abuse any migrant. 


No Separation of Families

Number ten on the list of demands requires transportation for all children in the shelter to and from their school each day. 

An image of a family standing together in the cold

Source: Wikimedia

The subsequent demand aims to ensure that all families remain together and there is no separation of children from parents. Nor will there be forced separation even in the absence of children. 


A Meeting With the Mayor

The migrant’s twelfth demand is focused on Mayor Mike Johnston. The migrants want to meet with him and the city officials in charge of Denver’s migrant program “to discuss further improvements.”

A portrait of the current Mayor of Denver, Mike Johnston

Source: Wikimedia

The final demand requires all shelter residents to be provided with a document written in both Spanish and English that is signed by a city official, listing all of the previously mentioned demands. They also want a number to call in case of any violations. 


Come Inside, Says Denver Human Services

Denver Human Services is the governmental body behind the city’s migrant program. A spokesperson for the body, Jon Ewing, told KDVR that the city is “just trying to get families to leave that camp and come inside.”

Denver Millennium Bridge From Commons Park

Source: Wikimedia

According to Ewing, they will provide all shelter residents with “three square meals a day.” However, should they choose to cook their own meals, the shelter would have no problem with this. 


We Don’t Want Families on the Streets of Denver

“What might be something that is a feasible path for you to succeed that is not staying on the streets of Denver?” said Ewing during a statement released to the public. 

An image of a homeless encampment on a busy U.S. street

Source: Mario Tama/Getty Images

“We try to figure something out. At the end of the day, what we do not want is families on the streets of Denver.”


Many Migrants Opt for Shelter

Speaking later, Ewing claims many of the families are dedicated to opting for shelter in the end. “We offered them shelter, and they took it. So we had around 18 people go into shelter this morning, all of them families,” said Ewing. 

An image of a migrant family traveling to a city together

Source: Freepik

After the encampment moved to a new location, Ewing said, “This time we said, for the singles, the individuals without kids.” They continue, “We said, how about seven days in shelter? It’ll be a hotel shelter. Seven days, aggressive case management.”