YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls just returned from Washington D.C. after discussing border issues with the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and U.S. Senator Mark Kelly.
This as hundreds of migrants continue crossing into the Yuma sector, ahead of the possible lifting of Title 42.
Friday , a popular illegal border crossing spot for asylum seekers, the Morales Dam, had a group of about 40 migrants cross into yuma in the afternoon and about 100 in the evening.
The Yuma border has been heavily overwhelmed by undocumented immigrants for more than a year now.
One migrant, Rachel Gonzalez and her son started their journey from Cuba on April third and arrived almost a month later.
“I can’t explain, I have no words because my son has been so brave. I’m so proud of him,” said Gonzalez.
Gonzales says she came here in hopes of gaining freedom from Cuba, as they had no access to medicine, or jobs.
“We tried to get to the U.S. border twice and in each one we got caught and then we almost lost our hope, but not totally and we fight, fight, fight and we did it,” said Gonzalez.
Last month, Customs and Border Protection reported more than 29,000 apprehensions in the Yuma sector.
And since October, close to 150,000 migrants have been apprehended in Yuma, an increase of almost 600 percent compared to this same time last year.
Mayor Nicholls says he met with DHS in Washington Thursday, speaking about what’s to come, as Title 42 is set to potentially end May 23.
“We had a very frank conversation about what the surges might look like and what resources are starting to come in play and our concern that title 42 is going to be removed before any of these resources are going to be available,” said Nicholls.
The health policy was dusted off by former President Donald Trump during the covid pandemic, citing people who have recently been in a country where communicable disease is present, should not be allowed into our country.
But now that covid cases are low, a new immigration battle is at our border, as the legal battle over title 42 continues.
Mayor Nicholls says he wants the Yuma Sector to be prepared when Title 42 ends, asking DHS for an extension, until a solid plan is in place to handle the expected surge of migrants.