Although what some local officials have called a "migrant crisis" here in Yuma has subsided in recent weeks, the release of asylum-seeking migrants families that began this spring impacted community resources, including the area's hospital, the Yuma Regional Medical Center.
In March, U.S. Border Patrol leaders told Yuma officials that apprehensions of family units at the border had exceeded their ability to process them, so they began releasing families to a temporary shelter in town.
The releases caused Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls in mid April to declare a city state of emergency to raise awareness and funding. Nicholls testified about the impact to Yuma, including at YRMC, before Congress in late June. The mayor told a House committee that more than 1,300 migrant patients had been treated by that time at the hospital.
YRMC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Robert Trenschel told KAWC that hospital costs for the migrants that are covered are paid for by a federal government program. Costs that are not covered are absorbed by the hospital, just like when local residents have no source of payment.