Arizona mayor declares state of emergency due to situation with migrants

More than 6,000 migrants crossed through Yuma in five days last week.
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Migrant caravan, Veracruz, Mexico, Nov. 17, 2021
Migrant caravan, Veracruz, Mexico, Nov. 17, 2021
(Claudio Cruz/AFP via Getty Images)

Yuma, Arizona, Mayor Douglas Nicholls declared a city state of emergency last week due to the numbers of migrants entering the city.

Yuma has been seeing "unprecedented numbers of migrants entering the city prior to being processed and released by Border Patrol," according to a press release.

The city has less than 100,000 residents, but in five days last week, more than 6,000 illegal migrants traveled from Mexico through the Yuma area into the United States. 

The first weekend of December alone, more than 4,000 migrants were apprehended by Border Patrol agents in the Yuma area.

Migrant encounters have increased by more than 2,600% in the past two months, according to Customs and Border Protection. 

Many migrants lack adequate food, water, shelter, and other basic necessities, and the surge has particularly strained medical resources in the area, the press release states. 

One of the city's other major concerns is the fact that migrants are treading on Yuma's farm fields. This creates concerns about food safety and crop destruction. 

By making the proclamation, Yuma will be eligible for state and federal funding to address the crisis.

“The change in the movement of migrants greatly impacts the Yuma community,” the Republican mayor said. 

Following a court order earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reinstated President Donald Trump's "Remain in Mexico" policy.

In an effort to solve one aspect of the crisis, the DHS appealed to the public last week for ideas on how the "government can prevent family separations at the U.S. border."