ICE Sanctuary Cities

In this Feb. 26, 2018, file photo, a banner to welcome immigrants is viewed through a fisheye lens over the main entrance to the Denver City and County Building in Denver.

Immigrants made up less than 16% of Denver's residents, but more than 23% of its transportation, warehouse and food workers, according to a new report by the New American Economy in partnership with the city of Denver.

The reports uses 2018 numbers to note Denver immigrants represent more than 34% of business owners in construction and 20.5 percent of business owners in such services as laundry, barber and repair shops.

The city had 75,548 residents without health insurance in 2018 and more than 44% were immigrants, according to the research.

“Denver’s immigrant and refugee residents are important and critical members of our community,” Atim Otii, director of Denver’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, said in a statement. “I am grateful to NAE for their support to create this data resource for the city and community partners to better inform services and resources for immigrants and refugees during this pandemic.”

The report released Tuesday shows indicates immigrants are essential to the city’s response and recovery but face threats because of gaps in federal relief, language access barriers and higher risks of infection with their roles on frontlines as essential workers.

Read the full report by clicking here.

The New American Economy is a bipartisan think tank founded by former New York mayor and capitalist Michael Bloomberg, Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch and hotelier J.W. Marriott Jr. in 2010.

The organization took off after 2013, when the bipartisan Gang of Eight, which included Democratic Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, passed an immigration bill out of the Senate before it died without a vote in the House.

Denver was one of 12 cities picked for the research effort by the national organization "to inform culturally sensitive emergency response measures that ensure all residents are included, regardless of immigration status," the organization said.

“The immigrant population is essential to keeping Denver running, yet especially vulnerable to gaps in our social safety nets,” said Mo Kantner, director of state and local initiatives for New American Economy, stated. “This new NAE research will support efforts by Denver to work quickly and innovatively to fill critical gaps in federal programs and ensure that response and recovery efforts reach all residents.”

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