Yuma, Arizona Mayor Douglas Nicholls on Tuesday declared an emergency because the "catch-and-release" program is putting a strain on local shelters. Nicholls explained in a post on Facebook.
Today I proclaimed a local emergency in Yuma, due to the migrant family releases overwhelming the local shelter system. I am calling upon the federal government to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yuma, as our NGO’s are overcapacity and cannot sustain providing this aid. I signed the proclamation of emergency and soon after spoke with media at approximately 3:15 pm (MST). You can view via the video below:
"...there's an emminent threat of having too many migrant releases into our community and it's above our capacity as a community to sustain," Nicholls said.
The mayor said he received a call from the shelter earlier in the day about their capacity. Their capacity is usually 150 but they can push it to 200. When the call was made Tuesday morning, the shelter already had 200 illegal aliens, with Border Patrol transporting 70 additional people. The shelter also anticipated receiving an additional 50 illegal aliens by the end of the day.
"The nonprofits have done a great job at trying to move migrants on to their final destinations, which is not Yuma. They're not looking to reside in Yuma. They're looking to reside in other destinations," Nicholls said.
The transportation issue, along with the backlog of aliens at the shelter, has created the capacity issue.
Nicholls said this declaration is designed to bring attention to the issues that are taking place along the border so they can be rectified across the country.
“So it’s with a heavy heart that I declare that we’re at this point but it is something that I believe we need to do to make sure that our community is maintained and that the human rights of all the migrants are also maintained and that we have a path forward that respects both,” he said.
The city also tweeted about the declaration:
Mayor: Migrants being released into the community faster than they are departing, and shelters and the staff to run them are at max capacity. A state of emergency is declared.— City of Yuma (@cityofyuma) April 16, 2019