Arizona mayor declares emergency over feds dropping migrants off in community

Arizona mayor declares emergency over feds dropping migrants off in community
© UPI Photo

The mayor of Yuma, Ariz., issued a proclamation of emergency Tuesday over the mass release of asylum-seeking migrants into his community, saying the city lacks the resources to address the influx, according to CNN.

Mayor Doug Nicholls (R) told reporters Tuesday that there is an “imminent threat” of more migrants being released into Yuma than the city can handle.

Nicholls said that the declaration is not meant to imply the migrants themselves pose a threat, but rather that he is seeking to secure the further resources necessary to handle the surge, according to the report.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Every person that has been released to us has had a background check and has a health check. They are not just adult males, they would be in family units," he said upon signing the proclamation. "We are not anticipating large-scale crime issues. We are not anticipating situations that would make Yuma a dangerous place."

Nicholls told local radio station KAWC that nearly 1,300 migrants have been dropped off in Yuma over a 19-day period.

Local nonprofit groups, Nicholls said, have done a “great job” of providing resources and shelter for the migrants, but the influx is disproportionate to their ability to provide for them, according to the news outlet.

The U.S. Border Patrol has released more than 11,000 migrants into border communities since March, when it began releasing border-crossers determined not to be a criminal threat, with notices to appear in court.

The releases come amid a spike in crossings, largely by families, at the southern border that have resulted in “capacity issues” at immigration detention centers. Officials in Las Cruces, N.M. recently asked for donations of personal hygiene products, food and clothing after Border Patrol agents dropped dozens of migrants off at a homeless shelter.

Yuma, a town of nearly 100,000 located in the southwest corner of the state, was the site of a visit from then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report Trump's family separation policy has taken US to 'lowest depth possible,' says former immigration lawyer Four heated moments from House hearing on conditions at border facilities MORE earlier this month. Nielsen, who has since resigned, met with federal, state and local law enforcement before joining President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE to visit a section of border wall in California.