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Migrant releases to begin Friday in Yuma County

Yuma Mayor Doug Nichols announced this afternoon that Yuma District Border Patrol agents released 141 migrants into the local community on Friday, 96 of them in Yuma.

Mayor Nichols told reporters at Yuma City Hall that the migrants would be screened and released into the commercial area.

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

“So I wrote a letter today to President Biden demonstrating and demanding that he declare a national emergency because of this immigration crisis,” Nichols said, adding, “I don’t just have the money, but the resources on the ground. I demanded that we could defend our borders the way they should have been defended from the beginning.”

Pandemic-era policies end tonight at 8:59 local time.

Mayor Nichols declared a local state of emergency on December 15, 2021. Arizona followed suit by declaring a state of emergency under former Governor Doug Ducey and continuing under Governor Katie Hobbs.

Yuma County and the cities of Summerton and San Luis have also declared regional emergencies.

Nichols said the perception that the city of Yuma has been severely impacted by the “immigrant crisis” has led to lost opportunities for domestic and foreign capital investment.

He and Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot said the director of the San Luis Port of Entry has no plans to close the port unless there is a serious incident there. Some people who travel from San Luis Rio Colorado to San Luis, Arizona every day for work or school have expressed concern that the border will be closed.

Yuma County Administrator Ian McGaughey said the county has purchased portable toilets for immigrants to use so they don’t have to encroach on nearby farmland.

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

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