Yuma mayor says migrant numbers starting to drop

Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls told the City Council Wednesday night the number of migrants illegally entering Arizona near Yuma is dropping.

In early January, President Joe Biden issued an order requiring migrants from Nicaragua, Haiti and Cuba to follow regular asylum procedures. Migrants from Venezuela are also included in the edict.

Mayor Nicholls said since the new rule took effect, the number of migrants has dropped significantly from the 1,000 migrants a day Yuma was seeing.

“They have to go through the regular asylum process,” the mayor said. “We’re down 600-800 a day which is manageable with the way border patrol is able to handle it. That’s a positive update at this point it’s not a solution but it is definitely something moving forward.”

Under the Biden border plan, the US Government agreed to accept up to 30,000 migrants a month from Nicaragua, Haiti, Cuba and Venezuela. Mexico also agreed to take back up to 30,000 migrants a month who crossed into the US at the southern border.

The drop in migrant numbers occurred while the container border wall constructed in the final months of former Governor Doug Ducey’s administration was being taken down to avoid a federal lawsuit.

Mayor Nicholls said construction is underway to fill gaps along the border near Yuma. A promise was made to Nicholl’s by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last year.

“I had stressed with the Secretary when he was in town 10 months ago. We did get some forward progress on that and it will be done in a month to a month and a half,” Mayor Nicholls advised the council.

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