The mayor of Yuma, Arizona, declared a “state of emergency” over the border crisis that has maxed out migrant shelters in his community.

“Migrants being released into the community faster than they are departing, and shelters and the staff to run them are at max capacity,” a tweet on the City of Yuma Twitter page states quoting Mayor Douglas J. Nichols. “A state of emergency is declared.”

The mayor signed the emergency declaration on Tuesday after migrant shelters filled to maximum capacity.

“By signing this proclamation we are looking to do a couple of things. Making sure that, not just locally but throughout the country, it is clear that we are in a position that needs to be rectified on a national level. Not just within the resources of our Yuma community,” Mayor Nicholls said in a statement published by KYMA in Yuma. “Two is to try to avert the threat of 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.”

He said the city is reaching a “critical spot where we need more help that what we’re getting.

The mayor explained that when the shelters reach capacity, the city is forced to release the migrants onto the streets. “That means they are likely to be on the street and there would be a whole cascading effect of people walking around the city,” he explained.

The mayor cautioned that the emergency declaration does not mean that he expects an increase in crime or health risks to the community. “Every person that has been released to us, has had a background check and has a health check. They are not just adult males, they would be in family units. We are not anticipating large scale crime issues. We are not anticipating situations that would make Yuma a dangerous place,” he stated.


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