Migrants Are Flocking to This Red State That Is ‘Welcoming’ Locals

By: Lauren Fokas | Published: Jun 29, 2024

There are certainly many differences between America’s Red (Republican) and Blue (Democrat) states. One of which is how both the government and residents alike feel about housing international migrants.

Historically, migrants have tended to flock to Blue states as they always had a more open-door policy. However, thousands of recent arrivals made their way to one Red state, believing that the people there would welcome them with open arms.

2.5 Million Migrants Crossed the US-Mexico Border in 2023

According to a report by MigrationPolicy, there were 2.5 million migrant encounters at the US-Mexico border in 2023, which is more than any other year in American history.

Immigrants line up at a remote US Border Patrol processing center after crossing the US-Mexico border in Arizona

Source: John Moore/Getty Images

Migrants arrive from countries throughout South and Central America in the hopes of a better life in the United States, but even after they make the extremely dangerous crossing, arriving in the US is often confusing and far more challenging than they expected.

Border States Have Been Busing Migrants North

In response to the overwhelming influx of international migrants, states along the border, such as Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, have been bussing the new arrivals out of state as quickly as possible.

A photograph of a large bus on the road at sunset

Source: Freepik

Thousands are sent to New York City, Florida, and Colorado with the promise that help will be waiting for them once they get off the bus. But that’s not what they find when they get there.

One Family Believed Their Future Would Begin in Colorado

Carmen Selene and Cleodis Alvorado shared their story with the New York Times. They explained that after arriving in Texas from Venezuela with their two sons, the local authorities told them they needed to board a bus to Denver, Colorado. They promised Alvorado that he would find a job and be able to provide a life for his family there.

Skyline of Denver, Colorado in front of the Rocky Mountains

Source: iStock

However, when they arrived, there was no job waiting for him. The city of Denver paid for a short-term stay in a hotel but then left Selene and Alvorado out in the cold. So they decided to board yet another bus, this time to Utah.

They Believed Utah Would Welcome Them

Selene and Alvorado told the press that they assumed Utah would be a “welcoming” state as it is known for its widely religious population. But they still struggled to find acceptance and work even in a state that boasts godliness like no other.

The inside of an empty church

Source: Freepik

The Alvorado family weren’t the only ones convinced that life in the US could truly begin in Utah. In fact, thousands of migrants made their way to Salt Lake City over the past few years.

19,000 Migrants Have Already Arrived in Utah in 2024

The number of international migrants moving to Utah increased by more than 500% from 2021 to 2023, with a total of 21,000 new residents last year, and that number is slowly climbing. Within the first seven months of 2024, the state has already seen 19,000 new cases.

A photograph of the “Welcome to Utah” sign on the side of the highway

Source: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

When Utah realized it was becoming a popular destination for international migrants, it opened its doors, offering more benefits to undocumented residents than almost any other state in the country. In fact, In 2023, the deeply Red state even enacted legislation that protected its migrants from forced deportation and offered jobs to those without documentation.


The “Utah Way” Is Based on the Beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

The state has said their welcoming of international migrants is the “Utah Way” and they are proud to provide sanctuary for those in need.

A photograph of a sign for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that reads “visitors welcome”

Source: Shutterstock

While it may sound surprising that a Red state has such an open-door policy for migrants, Utah wants the rest of the country to understand that the “Utah Way” is based on its religious beliefs in kindness and support for all. Utah is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or the Mormon religion, and they believe in helping everyone, not just American citizens.


Utah Can No Longer Handle the Immense Number of New Migrants

However, even though they want to help recent migrants find work and a home in the United States, Utah has recently reported that it is simply overwhelmed with the sheer number of people arriving every month.

Governor of Utah, Spencer Cox, speaks at an event

Source: @Gov. Spencer J Cox/YouTube

Utah Governor Spencer Cox has always fought for immigrant rights in Utah, but now, he has admitted that the Red state is struggling to keep up. Gov. Cox is now asking Denver to stop sending Utah its immigrants, as the state has no more room for them.


Denver, Colorado Is Sending Too Many Migrants to Utah

Denver, Colorado, has seen an intense increase in international migrants over the past few years. And of these tens of thousands of new arrivals, many are living without homes on the city’s now crowded streets.

A photograph of a homeless encampment on the streets of Denver, Colorado

Source: Reddit

To combat the problem, Denver has been busing thousands of migrants to Utah, and Gov. Cox has finally had to ask the Mile High City to stop. He says they simply cannot house any more people at this time.


Utah’s Shelters Are Finally Full

After several years of welcoming any international migrant who crossed into Utah, Gov. Cox has announced that its shelters are full and its resources are at capacity.

A photograph of an empty homeless shelter showing several beds

Source: Reddit

Utah has even sent representatives to the border with bright orange flyers that tell arrivals to stay away from the Beehive State. The flyers read, “There is no room in shelters. No hotels for you. Housing is hard to find and expensive. Food banks are at capacity.”


Some Blame President Biden for the Ever-Growing Immigration Population

While Gov. Cox has blamed Denver for illegally bussing thousands of recently arrived migrants over the state border, others say that it’s not really Denver’s fault but President Biden’s for allowing the catch-and-release program in the first place.

A photograph of US President Joe Biden speaking at an event

Source: @WHAS11/YouTube

During his nearly four years in the Oval Office, the Democratic president has enforced the catch-and-release program, which refers to the practice of releasing migrants to live within the community while they await immigration hearings as opposed to holding them in detention centers. While many say this program is humane and the right choice for America, others are calling it the “greet and release” program, essentially allowing thousands of immigrants who would have been deported the ability to stay in the US illegally.


Even Those Who Support Immigration Realize America Needs to Change

Millions of Americans from both Red and Blue states, including those who vehemently believe in the right to migrate, are now calling on President Biden to adjust his policies and get a hold of the growing immigration crisis across the country.

People clap for US President Joe Biden

Source: @5News/YouTube

As Gov. Cox, a staunch supporter of immigration, explained, “All 50 states, including Utah, are now border states due to the failed immigration policies of President Biden and Congress. Once again, we call on the Biden administration and Congress to solve this crisis.”