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Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines testifies in Washington

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security about the costs of the immigration crisis and how our local agencies are footing the bill. 

In Washington D.C., Supervisor Jonathan Lines shared the difficulties Yuma County has faced and is still facing, amidst the border crisis, as migrants are taking local resources like our hospital, first responders, and border patrol. 

“First and foremost a visit to the border would be in order. I appreciate Secretary Mayorkas being there. I appreciate the 1/3 commitment that he has fulfilled, however we are still far short of what is needed,” said Supervisor Jonathan Lines.

Lines said migrants are taking advantage of our local resources, like first responders

“Sometimes they’ve had to wait up to 24 hours during the biggest surges, sometimes, 36 hours. We’ve seen them order Uber eats but most particularly in order to expedite their removal from the border, into a facility so they can get where they’re going they resort to calling 911,” said Supervisor Lines.

He also shared with the House Committee on Homeland Security, the struggles Yuma Regional Medical Center is facing, and how this affects local patients.

“We had an 18 month period where it was almost impossible to go into the hospital which also detracted from border patrol’s ability to man the border,” said Supervisor Lines.

Lines said this is because a border patrol officer has to stay with a migrant at the hospital.

So for every 20 to 30 people who were in the hospital, the agents were there guarding them instead of being at the border. 

He also adds that the surveillance infrastructure installed under the Trump Administration was taken down or turned off, which leaves us with the legacy system which is 30 plus years old.

“All of our surveillance equipment on the southern border has been removed, that was previously installed and so we have a completely open southern border with surveillance equipment having been removed. Who removed that? This administration,” said Lines.

No word on when or if the crisis will be resolved, but again, Lines said an administration visit to the border would be a step in the right direction.

Article Topic Follows: Immigration

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Samantha Byrd

Samantha Byrd joined the KYMA team in February 2022 and is the morning anchor/producer for News 11 and Fox 9.

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