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Cañon City Police: Claims on national TV of migrants arriving from Denver unfounded

CAÑON CITY, Colo. (KRDO) -- Claims of migrants arriving in Cañon City from Denver spread all the way to national TV, which the Cañon City Police Department investigated and said are not true.

Back in November, Cañon City Mayor Preston Troutman received a picture from a resident of a white van. The resident told him the van unloaded about a dozen migrants at Macon Plaza in downtown Cañon City. Since then Troutman said he has received similar claims from residents, stating migrants are being dropped off in town from Denver.

“These small towns don't have that ability," Troutman said. "We don't have the tax base and we don't have the facilities to accommodate.”

Last week, Troutman emailed Monument Mayor Mitch LaKind about his concerns. The email said, “I/we have a concern about illegals being dropped off in our town.  We also don’t have the resources to house them should we get a large influx of people.  We did locate a van unloading 12 undocumented males with no identification and they said they came from the Denver area.  The van was from a Denver church.  The purpose of this e-mail is to ask if I could get a copy of the letter or communication that was sent to Denver.  We are not a sanctuary city and intend to stay that way.”

LaKind said he didn’t know who Troutman was until he received that email. Monument, a similar-sized town, was also concerned about the migrant situation, recently passing a resolution stating it wasn’t a sanctuary city.

“I don't know that it's overblown for the smaller municipalities to get ahead of this," LaKind said. "We need Denver to know that we can't support them and help them.”

LaKind was scheduled for an appearance on Fox News two days later and told KRDO13 Investigates he received permission from Troutman to tell the story on national TV. In the interview, LaKind said, “They dropped off a dozen illegal immigrants. They had no identification. They had no ability to speak English. The police could not do anything with them and they just vanished into the community.”

The Cañon City Police Department told KRDO13 Investigates it responded to the van incident in November and it didn’t involve migrants. Officers spoke with the people dropped off at Macon Plaza, who told them in English they were homeless. The department said it isn’t aware of migrants being dropped off in Cañon City.

Fremont County Commissioner Dwayne McFall told KRDO13 Investigates he has heard the “hearsay” from residents about migrants being bussed to Cañon City from Denver. The commissioners declined an interview about the topic but said it plans on discussing a resolution at its meeting tomorrow stating the county doesn’t have the resources to accommodate migrants.

Troutman said he plans on working with the city council to draft a resolution too, stating Cañon City isn’t a sanctuary city, similar to Monument’s declaration. He said there is heightened awareness and tension with the migrant topic due to national news, but he said he doesn’t want the community to overreact.

“I'm not trying to degrade anybody, but I'm trying to say let's just think this over for a minute before we overreact," Troutman said. "We want to have a reasonable level of awareness, but on the other hand, we have no real way of accommodating.”

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Quinn Ritzdorf

Quinn is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.

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Emily Arseneau

Emily is the Digital Content Director for KRDO NewsChannel 13 Learn more about her here.


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