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Migrant releases to begin Friday in Yuma County

 Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls, center, speaks to reporters at Yuma City Hall hours before Title 42 is set to expire on Thursday, May 11, 2023.
Victor Calderón/KAWC
Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls, center, speaks to reporters at Yuma City Hall hours before Title 42 is set to expire on Thursday, May 11, 2023.

Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls said this afternoon that Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents will release 141 migrants into local communities on Friday with 96 in Yuma.

Mayor Nicholls told reporters at Yuma City Hall the migrants will be vetted and released in commercial areas.

Nicholls also made a last-minute request to President Joe Biden for federal resources.

“So today I wrote a letter to President Biden demonstrating and demanding that he declare a national state of emergency due to this immigration crisis," Nicholls said. "I demanded resources, not just money but resources on the ground. That way we can protect our border the way it should have been protected from the beginning.”

The pandemic-era policy ends at 8:59 local time tonight.

Mayor Nicholls proclaimed a local emergency on Dec. 15, 2021. Arizona followed with a state of emergency under former Gov. Doug Ducey that remains in effect with Gov. Katie Hobbs.

Yuma County and the cities of Somerton and San Luis have also proclaimed local emergencies.

Nicholls said domestic and international capital investment opportunities in Yuma have been lost due to the perception of the city being heavily impacted by the "migrant crisis".

He and Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot said the director for the San Luis Port of Entry does not anticipate closing the port, pending any major incident there. Some of the people who cross into San Luis, Ariz. from San Luis Rio Colorado daily for work or school have expressed concerns the border might close.

Yuma County Administrator Ian McGaughey said the county purchased portable toilets for migrants to use so they don't have to trespass into nearby agricultural fields.


Stay tuned to this article and KAWC for local and national updates as Title 42 ends tonight.

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.