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Cox claims dozens of illegal immigrants were sent to Utah from Denver

SALT LAKE CITY – Illegal immigrants were sent from the city of Denver to Utah without local officials’ knowledge or approval of the actions, according to statements from Governor Spencer Cox and his office.

In a social media post Friday, Cox accused Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, a Democrat, of sending illegal immigrants to Utah without approval, calling the move “completely unacceptable.”

When contacted by FOX 13 News, a spokesperson for Cox’s office said they learned immigrants had been sent to Salt Lake City on May 13.

“Denver did not consult us before setting up this practice. We have now been informed that 59 people have been transported to Salt Lake by bus or plane in the last 30 days,” said Jennifer Napier-Pearce.

The governor’s office added that a group of immigrants were reportedly sent to Salt Lake City International Airport without resources or anywhere to go.

Mayor Erin Mendenhall said she is aware of migrants arriving from Denver and recently spoke with Johnston, adding that her office receives regular updates from federal and local agencies.

While Mendenhall says Salt Lake City has tried to connect families without local resources, her office says a consistent message has been sent that local emergency services and shelters are currently at full capacity.

“Increasingly, we are seeing the arrival of families seeking asylum in our urban area who have no existing connections or family in Utah. To contact and communicate about their arrival, other state and local governments or nonprofits outside of Utah should contact local service providers or officials in advance,” a spokesperson for Mendenhall’s office said. has no formal entry process for newcomers, and those who arrive in Salt Lake City often disperse to locations throughout Salt Lake County and the region.

For his part, Cox puts the blame on the Biden administration.

“All fifty states, including Utah, are now border states because of President Biden and Congress’s failed immigration policies,” the governor wrote. “Again, we call on the Biden administration and Congress to resolve this crisis.”