The mayor feels more will now be done after the secretary’s firsthand visit to Yuma - News 11's Cody Lee reports
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Among the many stops for Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas, a meeting at Yuma Sector headquarters with local leaders.
The mayor of Yuma and others got the chance to meet face to face to discuss how the border crisis is affecting the city.
“The secretary was able to actually see what goes on here and specifically in the Yuma Sector is totally different than Nogales and Texas and even California,” Mayor Doug Nicholls explained.
Last December, Mayor Nicholls issued an emergency proclamation, due to a spike in undocumented immigrants coming across the Yuma Sector border.
“We did talk about that proclamation during the meeting, just to accentuate the change of the migration patterns here locally, and it's still in place,” he said.
Nicholls says they had a chance to talk about immigration policy and the messaging around it.
“Title 42 is something that is definitely still in place. And then title eight is still the law of land. We agree that immigration law needed to be updated that which has to be done through Congress.”
But he admits, the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy is not doing much right now to help the sector.
“He indicated he'll have increased effort with the Mexican government to expand the program. To have a real impact. So that people see it as a deterrent and not as a low-grade attempt at fixing some issues.”
The gaps in the border wall were also addressed.
“The Morelos Dam gap as we call it, where there's no security there and what can be done, which it looks like something now that he's seen it, is extremely focused on making sure that gets done soon,” the mayor added.
Nicholls says he also spent time talking about fellow citizens who are border patrol agents.
“We can really see how this is wearing on them and the morale and we are very supportive of them and wanting to make sure that they know that the community around them is supportive of the work that they the great work that they do.”
We know Nicholls has been a voice for Yuma Regional Medical Center and non-profit organizations in town.
This is why they also touched on the hospital’s reimbursement for various medical services provided to migrants.