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Yuma Mayor Withdraws State of Emergency Proclamation Over Migrant Releases

Office of Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls
Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls, left, meets with Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019.

Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls today has withdrawn a State of Emergency proclamation he issued in April following a large number of migrants seeking asylum in the Yuma area.

Mayor Nicholls is in Washington D.C. this week and met with Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli.

Nicholls issued the emergency proclamation on April 16, after thousands of migrants illegally crossed the border and were apprehended by Border Patrol officers and released into the City of Yuma. Nicholls said this overwhelmed the shelter system.

He credits successful efforts of the Trump Administration, initiatives implemented by DHS and the Government of Mexico, the Migrant Protection Protocol program as well as the repatriation to Central American countries.

Border Patrol officials have told KAWC the number of apprehensions has decreased significantly in recent months.

In a released statement, Nicholls said “I am grateful to be able to withdraw the Proclamation of Emergency due to the Trump Administration's policy changes that diminish the flow of the migrant family units to the Yuma area and prevent releases into the Yuma community. Today is a momentous day for the Yuma region as I was able to withdraw the Proclamation of Emergency alongside Acting Deputy Secretary Cuccinelli.”

In April, Nicholls organized a local task force of non-profits to provide humanitarian support while he said he simultaneously sought a federal solution and assistance from the President Donald Trump and DHS.

Secretary Cuccinelli said the number of Central American family units apprehended has decreased by 85 percent since its peak in May.

In a released statement, Cuccinelli said "Thanks to a number of policies we implemented, we have ended catch and release and are returning, removing and repatriating more aliens from the border than ever before. Now, communities like Yuma are directly seeing the effect of our efforts. We are pleased to stand alongside Mayor Nicholls and to work together to secure the border and protect the American people.”

Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.
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