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Somerton mayor says migrant aid has diverted availability of emergency personnel for residents

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The mayor of Somerton said his city’s police and fire departments are preparing for the end of Title 42 on Thursday but with the unknown of what that will look like here.

The pandemic-era policy has allowed Border Patrol agents to return asylum seekers to Mexico.

Somerton’s main role has been as the city where migrants released by Border Patrol go to the Regional Center for Border Health for a health screening and to get help with travel plans before they board a bus to Phoenix.

Mayor Jerry Anaya told KAWC the city’s boundary extends west to the U.S.-Mexico border. Somerton-Cocopah firefighters often take medical calls for migrants.

“Somerton is a small city with a small fire department and when we have to go to answer an emergency along the border then it affects our residents and that is what the impact is for us,” Mayor Anaya said.

Anaya added that his city would accept more resources from the federal government to assist migrants.

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Stay tuned to KAWC for more coverage on the end of Title 42 and what we see here.

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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