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Emergency declared in City of Yuma

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KSWT, FOX 9) - Mayor Doug Nicholls signed an emergency proclamation Tuesday and declared there is an imminent threat due to the release of migrants in the Yuma community.

During the announcement, Mayor Nicholls stressed the importance of the declaration and stated how it will affect the community. 

"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. "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." 


Mayor Doug Nicholls has drafted a State of Emergency declaration due to the influx of migrants being released into the Yuma community. 

"It's just waiting on a signature," said Mayor Douglas Nicholls. "Yuma is reaching a critical spot where we need more help than what we're getting."

Mayor Nicholls explained the document could be signed any day now. "I monitor every day the influx of migrants into the shelter and how many are able to leave each day. When it gets to the point where we are at or above capacity, which is just about now that's when the document will be signed," said Mayor Nicholls.

Mayor Nicholls explained once he signs the declaration, it will then go to the desk of Governor Doug Ducey. He added the Governor then has the opportunity to declare a statewide emergency and then that declaration would head to the President's desk.

Mayor Nicholls added if the shelter is above capacity an incident management activity plan would need to be put into place to address resources. "When you reach capacity and people are no longer able to stay at the shelter that means they are likely to be on the street and there would be a whole cascading effect of people walking around the city," said Mayor Nicholls.

The mayor adds the emergency declaration does not mean there is an imminent danger to the Yuma 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," said Mayor Nicholls. 

He said the declaration would provide notice to other surrounding communities there is a need for help. 

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Ciara Encinas

Ciara Encinas is an Emmy award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the KYMA in May 2018.


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