Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls Tuesday declared a city State of Emergency, due to the number of migrant asylum seekers released in the Yuma community. Nicholls says that in the last 19 days nearly 1,300 migrants have been dropped off, stretching the ability of nonprofits to the breaking point.
The mayor says he has been holding daily meetings with the two main organizations providing aid to the migrants, the Yuma Community Food Bank and the Yuma Salvation Army. He says they are operating well beyond their capacity, and there is no end to the migrant releases in sight.
Nicholls says his emergency declaration provides, "a way to express the dire urgency of this situation to the rest of the country." And he hopes that will spur the federal government into action.
"Either through additional transportation options in the other communities that actually provide relief to the numbers coming into Yuma," Nicholls said. "Or bringing in a FEMA type response to our community, so FEMA and the Federal Government in their response could address the situation."
The mayor adds that the declaration does not mean there is an imminent danger to the Yuma community. He says the migrants being released, "are not adult males, but family units. They do not present large scale crime issues and we are not anticipating any sitations that would make Yuma a dangerous place."
The emergency declaration goes to Governor Doug Ducey's desk. The governor has the power to declare a statewide emergency. If the governor makes that declaration, it would head on to President Trump.