The buses arrived at Union Station bus terminal in downtown Denver over the course of Monday night into Tuesday morning. The migrants then allegedly walked several blocks to the Denver Rescue Mission.
"What we are assuming, based on our conversations with the immigrants, is they got off the buses and were looking for services and were directed to the Denver Rescue Mission’s front doors," Denver Rescue Mission spokesman Stephen Hinkel said Wednesday.
It remains unclear who sent the buses, which arrived from the southern border and were transporting mostly Venezuelan nationals. A spokesperson for the Regional Transportation District said they were unaware of any migrants arriving at the station by bus.
The city's shelter system has struggled to cope with the sudden influx of migrants, forcing them to activate its Emergency Operations Center. A makeshift shelter was set up in the gymnasium of a city rec center, lined with more than 100 cots to accommodate the migrants as temperatures start to dip below freezing.
The steady stream of migrants who have arrived over the last few months has been manageable enough for the city to handle, but this sudden arrival pushed the Rescue Mission beyond its capabilities.
"They reached out to us and sent up the flag. 'They said we need your help.' That was yesterday morning," said Mikayla Ortega, spokeswoman for the emergency management office. "That was when we activated the emergency shelter to accommodate the overload."
The crisis at the southern border has been getting progressively worse over the last few years, overwhelming the border communities that have been forced to take the brunt of it.
In response, the Governors of Texas and Arizona have been sending bus loads of migrants to self-proclaimed sanctuary cities across the country, in particular New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
The Biden administration continues to claim that there is not a crisis and that the border is secure.