Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls issued an emergency proclamation on Thursday in response to an unprecedented number of migrants entering the city. Nicholls asserts the influx is overwhelming federal authorities and creating a humanitarian crisis.
In a Thursday press release, the mayor says federal personnel are struggling to manage the flow of migrants into the community and at official facilities. According to Nichols, there have been reports of more than 6,000 migrants attempting to travel through the Yuma area.
The emergency proclamation makes the city eligible to receive state and federal funding for aid, relief, and assistance to mitigate the crisis, according to Nicholls. Mayor Nicholls addressed the impact to the community:
Migrants are traveling through Yuma during a time of great uncertainty about the COVID-19 virus, and without provisions for adequate food, water, shelter, transportation, and medical care. This surge of migrants has and will continue to strain the ability of medical staff and local hospital resources to provide essential and necessary medical care.
The Yuma area experienced a sharp increase in migrant crossings in recent months. Arrests in October 2021 were more than 2,600 percent greater when compared to the previous October.
The recent surge in migrant crossings is having a devastating impact on the surrounding Border Patrol stations and the soft sided processing center near Yuma. They are cumulatively more than 800 percent over the recommended COVID-19 detention capacity.
Most of the migrant groups are breaching a border wall gap near the Morelos Dam, west of Yuma.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.
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