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Truth Test: Debunking Boebert's claim about migrants and government money

Migrants are not getting thousands of dollars a month in payments from the government, as Colorado U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert claimed online.

DENVER — Denver's migrant population has grown to the highest it has been since late May.

With the arrival of 82 more today, there are 1,079 in shelters. Denver has served 17,235 since December.

Migrants receive help from private groups and government agencies, but they are not getting thousands of dollars each month from the government as Republican Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert claimed to her millions of followers on social media.

A claim that requires a Truth Test.

CLAIM: "Biden is giving each illegal family $2,200 per month plus a free plane ticket and free medical care."

VERDICT: Not true.

When we asked where the $2,200 per month dollar amount came from, Boebert’s press office provided a link to an article from The Gateway Pundit.

That is a far-right website known for posting misinformation and election denial claims.

The Gateway Pundit is also being sued by former Dominion Voting Systems employee Eric Coomer because the site helped amplify the unproven claim that Coomer rigged the 2020 election.

Regarding Boebert’s claim of “each illegal family” being paid monthly by the government, it is not clear what she means by “illegal.”

If she was talking about migrants, it is not true that they directly receive monthly dollars from the government.

“Absolutely not. That’s just not happening,” said Yoli Casas, executive director of Vive Wellness. "They're here with their papers. They have gone through the border through immigration. They have an appointment, whether it's in a year or two years, to actually look at their case."

Casas helps migrants coming through Denver with some basics, like transportation help and permanent housing.

“The money that we have goes directly to the apartment complex, we buy the RTD passes, we buy a phone or chip. nobody has gotten money in hand at all,” Casas said. “They go to properties, just like any of us go, to go find a rental. They apply. They look into a background check. They check to make sure that they’re making at least two times the rent, and they see if they qualify.”

That grant money is provided through existing COVID relief funds.

The Gateway Pundit article cites an anonymous Border Patrol agent for the claim that people are receiving monthly stipends from the government.

It also links to a U.S. State Department memo about refugees.

If refugees are what Boebert is referencing in her tweet about “each illegal family,” she is still inaccurate.

Based on the State Department memo, refugees do not receive monthly payments from the government.

About half of the money is for the resettlement agency to assist the refugees and about half is for administrative needs.

“The Department of State provides a one-time payment of $2,375 per individual refugee to the local resettlement affiliates, of which $1,275 is available for agencies to use to fund the critical direct assistance needs of refugees, such as rent, food, clothing, and furnishings,” the memos states. “The remainder of the per capita funds is used to fund the delivery of services by resettlement staff, such as locating and preparing housing, cultural orientation, enrollment of youth in school, assistance with access to employment, medical and legal services, and case management during refugees’ first three months in their new communities.”

There are four resettlement agencies in the metro area:

  • ECDC/African Community Center
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains
  • Jewish Family Service

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