Denver Government May Furlough American Staff To Put Illegals On Its Payroll

City employing all-of-government effort aimed at finding work for illegal immigrants, emails indicate
John Hickenlooper
Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

As Denver faces a budget crisis due to 40,000 illegal immigrants arriving in the last year, the city is warning hourly workers that they may be furloughed, while also considering hiring illegal immigrants to work for the city, The Daily Wire has learned.

A spokeswoman for Denver mayor Mike Johnston told The Daily Wire that the budget crisis was caused by illegal immigrants being unable to work, causing them to be a drain on taxpayer dollars. The idea was to solve that by having them work directly for the city, she said. She said that a full-time salary funded by taxpayers was “not necessarily” more costly than social services.

She said the city has considered the plan but at the moment is not pursuing it because it is high-risk, since it is likely illegal.

But U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) earlier this month encouraged local governments to disregard federal law, suggesting that cities should at a minimum begin issuing their own quasi-work permits to illegal immigrants that would allow the to work for various employers.

“If the federal government wants to come down and throw the book at us, we’ll deal with the legal costs,” Hickenlooper told Denver’s 9 News.

Even as the city was prepared to put illegals on the payroll, it acknowledges that because of illegals, it may not have enough money to pay its American workers. 9 News reported on Monday that the City of Denver warned its workforce of job cuts, reporting that while the city “says it is NOT laying off employees to pay for the migrant crisis,” it “IS telling hourly employees they may have their hours reduced to zero.”

Emails reviewed by The Daily Wire show that Denver Public Schools, which is separate from the city, is hiring foreigners and giving them visas that permit them to be in the country. It used the presence of illegal immigrant students to justify it, saying it wants “adults who are reflective of our students.”

On October 19, 2023, Deborah Staten, deputy chief of staff for the superintendent, wrote to school board president Carrie Olson that the district’s hiring department was hosting “ELA-S Hiring Fairs and Visa-sponsored employee welcome events.” DPS’s hiring department hosted a “Community Hub” where it discussed “visa sponsorship eligibility” with job applicants, and a “Visa Sponsorship Welcome Night… for all of our DPS visa-sponsored employees.”

On Facebook, DPS said it had “over 200 teachers working with us on Visa Sponsorship and we are welcoming another 58 more in this school year. Representation matters and adults who are reflective of our students is essential!”

In addition to giving visas to foreign nationals to allow them to live in the country and work at the schools, the school district was also working with the city, the state of Colorado, and the federal government to help illegal immigrants work, according to an email from Evan Dreyer, deputy chief of staff to Denver mayor Mike Johnston.

On November 6, 2023, Dreyer proposed using DPS buildings for “legal clinics in November and December to help new arrivals apply for Temporary Protected Status and Employment Authorization Documents.”

Temporary Protected Status is supposed to be given to people fleeing from countries that have “ongoing armed conflict” or other “extraordinary” conditions that make it impossible for illegal immigrants to return there. Yet the Department of Homeland Security has extended it to 16 countries, including El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Recipients can get Employment Authorization Documents.

The emails, obtained under public records laws by the parents’ group Parents Defending Education and shared first with The Daily Wire, shed light on the chaos and shifting loyalties in Denver Public Schools that have resulted from what a DPS official called an “incredible influx of New to Country Students.”

In 2021, DPS purchased a property that was intended to expand the Denver School of Arts, a magnet school that turns away 500 students a year because of space. The emails show the school system is now working with the mayor’s office to use the property as a “possible migrant shelter.”

The school system also wants to cancel standardized testing, giving up on tracking whether students are learning because poor scores by illegal immigrants would be bad optics for the school district. On January 10, Grant Guyer, DPS Associate Chief of Strategic Operations, wrote that he had “been tasked to explore regulatory and legislative solutions around getting a temporary pause state testing implications for DPS schools that have experienced a large increase of Migrant students.” That could be disastrous in ensuring that American students are recovering from COVID-era school closures.

Americans have fled the city’s failing schools in recent years, with declining enrollment threatening to bring lower budgets for schools. The school system initially wanted illegal immigrants because they would mask the fact that Coloradans were fleeing from the schools, and allow them to request the same budget.

Instead of closing schools, the district was “opening new elementary Newcomer Center at Montclair to support overflow” and considering two other “newcomer” centers, according to the emails.

But illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes, and the state was not able to cover the difference, leading to a nearly $20 million shortfall, education publication The Lion reported.

DPS did not respond to requests for information from The Daily Wire.

The school system refused to turn over 101 documents about migrants, including discussions involving how it is causing overcrowded classrooms, under the public records request.

Denver’s flirtation with illegally hiring illegal immigrants comes as the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security warned the University of California of consequences if it engaged in a similar plan.

Rep. Daryll Issa (R-CA) said the university system’s idea was disastrous, saying making it easier for illegal immigrants to work in the United States would serve as an incentive for more illegal immigration.

The university system seems less likely to pursue the scheme after it commissioned three legal opinions that all indicated that, contrary to a novel theory pushed by some professors, states are beholden to the same law that prevents private employers from hiring illegals.

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Denver Government May Furlough American Staff To Put Illegals On Its Payroll