Yuma Mayor Nicholls Says He’s Heard Both Sides on Immigration After State of Emergency Declaration
One week after he declared a city state of emergency due to the number of migrant asylum seekers released in the Yuma community, Mayor Doug Nicholls said he’s heard from both sides of the immigration debate from residents.
Nicholls told KAWC he issued his proclamation on April 16 to bring state and federal attention to the large number of migrants who are stretching the resources of the Yuma Community Food Bank and the Yuma Salvation Army.
“The public for the most part to me has been very supportive," Nicholls said. "There are generally two reactions. One is they understand the need to protect the community and address humanitarian rights. That can be done with one action, with a shelter system. The other is those that are frustrated with the current state of affairs as far as immigration goes, immigration laws and processes and loopholes… and I share that frustration.”
The Arizona Republic reports migrants released from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center near Yuma have been bussed up to churches in the Phoenix area, including Vineyard Community Church in Gilbert. Most of the migrants are from Guatemala and others are from Honduras and El Salvador.
Nicholls said that process has been going on for months and more recently the overflow capacity has gone through the Yuma non-profit facilities.