Yuma, Arizona declares state of emergency over migrant families

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls has declared a state of emergency to deal with the number of families being released from Border Patrol custody into the city.

Nicholls said Tuesday that he hoped not to get to this point but that organizations helping immigrant families just don’t have capacity to deal with so many.

The mayor is calling on the federal government to send resources, suggesting a FEMA response. The city’s emergency shelter can hold 150 people but had about 200 on Tuesday and was expecting more, Nicholls said.

According to the Washington Times, Mayor Nicholls is warning of mobs of people “roaming the streets looking to satisfy basic human needs,” clashing with citizens looking to protect their own property. “There is an imminent threat on having too many migrant releases into our community,” he said. “It’s above our capacity as a community to sustain.”

Border cities have seen a large number of immigrant families from Central America being dropped off by immigration authorities who don’t have the resources to process them.

The Border Patrol is on pace to apprehend a million immigrants this fiscal year.

San Diego Congressman Duncan D. Hunter posted a video to Twitter Wednesday morning saying he is in Yuma to tour the border with other members of Congress.

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