Yuma’s mayor has declared a state of emergency in the city over the border crisis, which has overwhelmed much of the American southwest.
“Well, it’s not surprising because in 2019, if we go back for a little history, we were having a similar surge during the Trump administration and there were policies put in place that mitigated those numbers to nearly… below 10,000 a year,” Mayor Douglas Nicholls said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
“The first thing that happened in January of last year, was those all went away, and when those went away, the numbers just started climbing right away,” he continued. “And it’s just been building this momentum, and there’s just beyond the capacity of the way Border Patrol and ERO and ICE normally work. And so now it’s kind of just trying to sustain an operating level. But really, Border Patrol’s mission is border security, not immigration, and they’re hamstrung with dealing with immigration now and have a very difficult time with border security.”
In October and November of 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered 1,777 illegal aliens in Yuma. In 2021, that number grew to 44,512 in the same two month period, a 2,405 percent increase.
Nicholl’s said the Biden administration has sent more agents to Yuma at his request, and that those agents have helped the situation, but that he wants the federal government to finish segments of the border wall that could stop the illegal aliens from crossing.
“I have had talks with [CBP] Commissioner Christopher Magnus, with some of the assistant secretaries about plugging – strategically plugging certain sections of the wall,” he said. “There’s 52 gates in the Yuma Sector that are not constructed, that are open. Some of them are highly-used. If we can get that blocked up, part of that wall finished, it will help give Border Patrol a fighting chance.”
Nicholl’s described his conversations with federal officials as “very positive.”
He expects more than 250,000 illegal aliens to cross the border in Yuma in 2022.
Nicholls’ office did not return a comment request Monday.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Douglas Nicholls” by Douglas Nicholls, Yuma Mayor. Background Photo “Yuma Border” by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.