Yuma, Ariz., at breaking point over asylum seekers, officials say

The southern border city of Yuma, Ariz., is pleading for help in connection with the ongoing torrent of migrants.

Mayor Doug Nicholls issued an emergency proclamation saying the influx of migrants being released directly into the community has become an “imminent threat” to the town.

The Border Patrol in Yuma had processed more than 1,000 migrants, mostly families and minors, in the last three days, according to azcentral.com

Federal officials from the state are now responding. These include Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who visited Yuma on Wednesday and spoke to Fox News.

Sen. Martha McSally visited the Yuma, Ariz., area on Wednesday.<br>
 (AP Photo/Matt York)

Sen. Martha McSally visited the Yuma, Ariz., area on Wednesday.<br>  (AP Photo/Matt York)

“We shouldn't allow this to continue to happen," she said. "It is a pull factor. The crisis continues to get worse. The cartels continue to profit off it. The humanitarian crisis is severe. We now are hearing reports of children being recycled back to Central America to then be brought back up again. Because the message is being sent if you show up with a kid you're going to be let go.”

The mayor’s emergency plea was intended to send more federal and state assistance in the form of housing, food, and medical supplies.

Nicholls said shelter organizers were saying that they had reached capacity after Border Patrol officials announced they were planning to release an additional 120 more migrants from detention.

McSally wants her Democratic colleagues to join her in Yuma so they can see for themselves the stress local communities are enduring.

“Stop playing around with it and stop playing to your extreme elements your base," the senator said. "This is a simple solution. ... We've got the legislation, we're working on it. We've got to get them to vote on it in the Senate."

A dramatic surge in migrants crossing the southern border to seek asylum is taking place. March was a record for crossings, with numbers not seen in over a decade. More than 115,000 immigrants were stopped at the border. Border officials said this fiscal year, they have seen more than a 300 percent increase in the number of family units apprehended compared to the same time period in fiscal year 2018.

McSally said the burdens on the local communities are multifold, “whether it's uncompensated care it at hospitals or in the education system in other ways. It's never really been measured but it is very real. So we've got to fix the issues here because it's impacting so many people."