Overwhelmed by Illegal Aliens, US Border City Declares State of Emergency

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
April 17, 2019USshare
Overwhelmed by Illegal Aliens, US Border City Declares State of Emergency
Handcuffs are removed from a suspected illegal immigrant as he is placed in the back of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection border patrol vehicle after being apprehended on the California side of the Colorado River near Yuma, Ariz., on March 17, 2006. (David McNew/Getty Images)

The mayor of Yuma, Arizona, declared a state of emergency due to the massive number of illegal aliens released into the border city.

“Today I proclaimed a local emergency in Yuma, due to the migrant family releases overwhelming the local shelter system. I am calling upon the federal government to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yuma, as our NGOs are overcapacity and cannot sustain providing this aid,” Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls posted to Facebook on April 16.

Nicholls also posted a video of an announcement he gave from the city chamber.

“This is a day that we had talked about three weeks ago, hopefully never having to get to, but we’re at the point of, with the migrant releases into Yuma, to be at a point of needing to declare [an] emergency,” said Nicholls.

Nicholls explained, “There is an imminent threat on having too many migrant releases into our community, and it is above our capacity as a community to sustain.”

Nicholls said that the city’s shelter is designed to hold only 150 people, but now it is holding 200 people. He said Border Patrol was sending over 70 more illegal immigrants to the shelter, with 50 more to come later.

Today I proclaimed a local emergency in Yuma, due to the migrant family releases overwhelming the local shelter system. I am calling upon the federal government to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yuma, as our NGO’s are overcapacity and cannot sustain providing this aid. I signed the proclamation of emergency and soon after spoke with media at approximately 3:15 pm (MST). You can view via the video below:

Posted by Douglas Nicholls, Yuma Mayor on Tuesday, April 16, 2019

One of the things Nicholls said the declaration can help to avoid is “hundreds of people roaming the streets, looking to satisfy basic human needs in our community and not having the resources to do so, and the reaction of the citizens of Yuma looking to protect their property and their way of life.”

Nicholls hopes the declaration will bring in resources and aid so that the burden to deal with the illegal immigrants will not fall on the city of Yuma alone. He hopes the declaration will bring a national spotlight to Yuma.

Nicholls answered a question referring to the small capacity of the city’s shelter system.

“The problem is it’s not just the physical building. It’s the actual resources and the actual personnel. So even if we had a building triple the size, the capacity of functionally operating that in a safe environment that respects the human rights of the individuals, and still provides an environment where our volunteers can operate in, we just don’t have that capability,” Nicholls explained.

Nicholls explained that not only is Yuma’s city shelter overcapacity, but the situation in local Border Patrol facilities is even more serious. Nicholls said that Border Patrol told him they have over 950 people detained, but their capacity is for 420 people, and that Border Patrol has been releasing some of their detainees into both Yuma and Phoenix.

Met with a local group of NGO's this morning to continue discussions on aid response to the Yuma Humanitarian Project….

Posted by Douglas Nicholls, Yuma Mayor on Monday, April 15, 2019

The city is using donations to provide supplies to the illegal immigrants and has asked for items for the children, according to a list from The Yuma Humanitarian Project posted to the mayor’s Facebook page. The mayor is working on getting better means of transportation to get the illegal immigrants out of the city and onto their next destination.

“Met with a local group of NGO’s this morning to continue discussions on aid response to the Yuma Humanitarian Project. More and more migrants are being released to the local shelter, and I am working hard to communicate that Yuma is not equipped to sustain this, to the state and federal levels,” Nicholls posted to Facebook.

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