Fox’s Bill Hemmer Asks Denver Mayor If He’s Called Biden To Press For Border Security

[Screenshot/Fox News]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Fox News’ Bill Hemmer asked the Democratic mayor of Denver, Colorado, on Friday whether he has personally called President Joe Biden to push for a change in border policy.

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston described the migrant crisis facing his city as apprehension numbers at the U.S.-Mexico border continue to surge to record-high levels. The crisis in Denver could cost the city up to $180 million this year, as a record 144 buses from Texas dropped migrants off in the city.

Hemmer pressed Johnston during a Friday interview on “America’s Newsroom” on why he hasn’t been more vocal in calling for tighter border security.

“You told The New York Times — you said, ‘We’re not gonna sit by and watch moms and six-month-olds in tents on the streets in ten degree weather.’ I think America would agree with you on that, but why not start at the source? Why not push for a policy change at the border so you can deal with this long before it comes to your city?”

“Yeah, again, we’re open to what the Congress decides they want the admissions policy to be. That’s not our decision,” the mayor said. “I’ll tell you, we’ve had more than 36,000 migrants who have arrived this year and we have successfully integrated all of them into work or housing until just the last month, and that’s because those folks came with work authorization under temporary protective status through about October, and when that expired and folks could no longer work, that was the first time we started seeing people in tents and encampments because they couldn’t support themselves.”

“If people have the ability to work, I think mayors would tell you we have more than enough capacity to put them to work,” he added. “We just don’t don’t want people here with no capacity to work and expect cities to foot the bill.”

“Okay, I gotcha, but you’re a purple state, and you got power, and you’re a Democrat, and you can call this White House every day of the week if you like. Have you?” Hemmer asked.

“I have called the White House, I’ve talked to [Homeland Security] Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas regularly. I’ve talked the White House and to [White House Chief of Staff] Jeff Zients and [presidential adviser] Tom Perez and we’re pushing for those changes,” Johnston responded. “This is why we were glad that Secretary Mayorkas actually did that temporary protective status. That helped keep our cities going through the fall. I think folks responded by trying to impeach him for that. We think that was him actually supporting cities and trying to manage this successfully.”

“But yes, we’re talking to the White House. We’ve told them we need more federal aid. That’s why there’s dollars in that supplemental budget to do that and dollars, critically, to add more capacity at the border to adjudicate these claims more quickly and provide more security,” he continued.

The Biden administration has requested $14 billion in supplemental funds to hire more border agents and add more resources and immigration judges to the border. House Speaker Mike Johnson scoffed at this idea, saying border patrol agents do not want these funds.

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has bused a total of 95,000 illegal migrants to blue cities as his own state has grown overwhelmed with illegal migrants under the Biden administration. New York City; Chicago; Washington, D.C., and other liberal cities expressed concerns at the massive cost of sheltering the migrants flooding their cities. (RELATED: Eric Adams Says Migrant Crisis Will ‘Destroy New York City’) 

The Denver mayor said he has empathy for Texas as the state struggles to tackle the crisis and that he has reached out to Abbott to coordinate responses.

Border officials apprehended over 2.4 million migrants in the 2023 fiscal year and have encountered over 483,000 in the 2024 fiscal year, which began in Oct. 2023, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).