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Yuma Mayor Nicholls Says He’s Heard Both Sides on Immigration After State of Emergency Declaration

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Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls

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.

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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