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COVID-19 Coverage

Sen. Mark Kelly in Yuma responds to judge ruling that pandemic border restrictions must continue

Mark Kelly Yuma border.jpg
Victor Calderón/KAWC
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U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly speaks to reporters in Yuma on Friday, May 20, 2022. He met with area officials including, left to right, Somerton Police Chief Araceli Juarez, Somerton Mayor Jerry Anaya, Yuma County Supervisor Lynne Pancrazi, Amanda Aguirre, president and CEO of Regional Center for Border Health and Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls about border security and management.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly was in Yuma Friday where he met with local elected officials and law enforcement leaders to discuss the high number of migrants arriving at the border.

Sen. Kelly was in a later meeting with other local leaders on water infrastructure when a federal judge’s decision to block the Biden administration from lifting pandemic border restrictions known as Title 42 next week was announced.

Kelly said he was not surprised by the decision from U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays in Louisiana.

More than 20 states signed on to a lawsuit, including Arizona. They argued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not go through the proper procedures to end Title 42 and should have considered the impact on state health care systems and other services.

Kelly was among those senators who did not want Title 42 to end without a plan to deal with the aftermath.

"We still need a plan from the administration," Kelly said. "Title 42 should not be in place forever. Before lifting it, there needs to be a comprehensive plan that works for Yuma County, for the city of Yuma and for this area."

The public health order allows immigration authorities to quickly expel migrants at the border without allowing them to seek asylum.

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Stay tuned to KAWC to hear more from elected officials in Yuma County on the impacts the high number of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border has had on their communities.

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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