Brett Dayberry, a resident of Colorado Springs for many years, stated that he visited several spots along I-25 this week. These locations include the Colorado Springs sign near the North Gate exit and the Interquest bridge over the highway. His intention was to raise awareness and protest against the influx of migrants traveling from Denver to Colorado Springs.
Dayberry expressed his desire to convey the essence of Colorado Springs to individuals traveling from the north, particularly those coming from Denver.
On Wednesday, we spotted Dayberry on the Academy bridge over I-25 during our investigation. Curious about his motives, we approached him to inquire about his reasons for protesting.
He expressed his concern about the impact of migrants being sent from Denver to their community, stating, “When Denver started sending migrants down here affecting our community, that’s when I said, ‘Hey, we got to shed some light on this issue.'”
According to a recent report by KRDO13, a total of 23 families, who identified themselves as migrants, have made their way from Denver to Colorado Springs in the past four to five weeks. In light of this, the El Paso County Commissioners have stated that they will not be offering sanctuary to these migrants. The commissioners cited financial constraints as the reason for their decision, stating that the county is unable to handle the burden of the ongoing migrant crisis.
County officials understand the challenges faced by migrant families and express sympathy towards their plight. However, they believe that the federal government’s failure to close the border has given false hope to migrants that their needs will be met in the United States.
Colorado Springs Mayor Yemi Mobolade emphasized that he will not allow the crisis to enter the city and reaffirmed that Colorado Springs is not a sanctuary city. Dayberry expressed concerns about how the potential arrival of migrants in Colorado Springs may impact the safety of its residents.
“We have tens of thousands of people crossing the border whom we have no information about,” Dayberry expressed. “This matter has become highly polarized and has been associated with racism. Can’t we just prioritize the safety of our country? That’s how I see it.”
As Dayberry stood on the bridge Wednesday morning, he voiced his protest, prompting several passing cars to honk their horns in support. In fact, one person even stopped on the bridge to express their gratitude. Dayberry noted that he has yet to encounter any negative reactions to his cause.
During the encounter, Dayberry shared, “He noticed the flag before anything else, and when I pointed out the sign, he simply gave a thumbs up and expressed his gratitude, saying, ‘Hey, thanks for what you’re doing.'”
The Salvation Army in Colorado Springs has witnessed a significant influx of migrants seeking assistance. According to Doug Hanson, a representative from the Salvation Army, the shelter has provided aid to a total of twenty-three families in the past four to five weeks. On average, each family consists of three to four individuals. KRDO13 has confirmed these findings.
Mobolade expressed gratitude to the Salvation Army for stepping forward to support these families. However, he made it clear that Colorado Springs has no plans to become a sanctuary city by “adopting a crisis.” In the meantime, the El Paso County commissioners advised nonprofits against offering assistance to migrants.
KRDO13 Investigates contacted the Salvation Army to inquire about the number of migrants they have assisted and whether they plan to continue providing support to migrants in the future. In response, the nonprofit provided the following statement.
The Salvation Army is a nonpartisan, evangelical Christian, mission-driven organization responding to crises and to the needs of our communities. Because we’re a church, The Salvation Army believes the Gospel commands and compels us to care for people in need without discrimination of any kind. That’s not just an idea; it’s our long-standing mission statement for over 150 years. We are there to serve all who are in need as long as we have the capacity to help, motivated by the love of God. The Salvation Army is proud to be the largest provider of sheltering for families experiencing homelessness in Colorado Springs. Immigrant-identifying families make up a very small proportion of the families we serve in our social services programs. To date 23 families have entered the shelter and have cycled through our program quickly enroute to another destination. Captain Doug Hanson, The Salvation Army Divisional Secretary for El paso County
Dayberry expressed uncertainty about the duration of his protest along I-25 but mentioned that he might consider moving to the Salvation Army for his next demonstration.
According to Dayberry, when cities like Denver choose to become sanctuary cities, they need to take responsibility for the consequences of that decision. Dayberry argues that Colorado Springs should not have to face the repercussions of Denver’s choice.
Protest against migrants arriving in Colorado Springs along Interstate 25 was observed.