Yuma mayor talks about migrants illegally crossing into city: US has the laws to fix problem

Sep 21, 2022, 6:30 PM | Updated: Sep 22, 2022, 12:50 pm
Government contractors erect a section of Pentagon-funded border wall along the Colorado River. (AP...
Government contractors erect a section of Pentagon-funded border wall along the Colorado River. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

SALT LAKE CITY — The governors of Texas and Florida are busing and flying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., Washington, D.C., and New York City. The mayor of Yuma, Ariz., says the US government has the laws on the books to fix a broken immigration system; it just lacks the willpower to get the job done.

Flying migrants to Massachusetts was political, critics say. But was it legal?

Gov. Greg Abbott’s migrant busing program costs Texas $12 million

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is on pace to make more than 2 million arrests along the Mexico border during the 2022 fiscal year that ends in September, surpassing last year’s record of 1.73 million, as reported by The Washington Post.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection also shows the Yuma sector had 259,895 migrant encounters from October 2021 to July 2022 – a nearly 250 percent increase from the prior year and the highest increase of all border sectors, according to the Office of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.

Ducey also announced in August that 3,820 feet of previously open border near Yuma is now closed with a barrier of double-stacked and secured shipping containers.

In the Border Patrol’s Yuma sector, apprehensions have surged 2,400 percent of late from last year, while drug seizures have fallen more than 57 percent

Yuma mayor discusses migrants crossing border

Yuma, Ariz., Mayor Douglas Nichols joins Dave & Debbie to talk illegal immigration’s impact on a border city.

Nichols said every day about 800 people cross the border into the Yuma sector. Most of them turn themselves in to the Border Patrol, which processes them into the U.S. immigration system. They are released because, Nichols said, there is not capacity to hold them for their court date, which could be years out.

“What’s your reaction when you see some of these cities — whether it’s Martha’s Vineyard or Chicago — receive . . . just a handful of immigrants, and you can see the panic set in?” Dave asked.

“We along the border talk about every community, every city and every state as a border community. When New York and Washington D.C., receive people by the busloads at a fraction of what’s going on [along the border] — those people are headed that way anyway. They’re going to be locating themselves throughout the country waiting for their court dates. So, they’ve just all arrived in one vehicle as opposed to one or two at a time, but the numbers are the same,” Nichols said.

Mayor says first shut the border down

“Everybody has an answer, but I think you having experienced it every single day, what are one or two things that you would want to see immediately if you could wave your magic wand?” Dave asked.

“We need to have policies that will shut the border back down. . .. When people cross the border and they’re claiming that they need to be in the country for whatever reason, instead of waiting two or three years, they get to see a judge within days,” Nichols said. “We’ve done this before under I think it was either President Bush or President Obama. People ended up going back to their home country, and their neighbor says, ‘Hey, I was gonna follow you to the United States, but you’re back so I’m going to skip that.’ We need to be actually enforcing the laws that are on the books. That’s what needs to happen, and it needs to be done more efficiently.”

“I guess if we’re busing and flying people to places in Utah or Washington or Martha’s Vineyard, I guess we could just fly him back to their country is that the idea?” asked Dave.

“That is definitely the idea. We have those relationships to get that done. We have the laws on the books to get it done. It’s a will that is missing. The will to get it done,” Nichols said.



Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  


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Yuma mayor talks about migrants illegally crossing into city: US has the laws to fix problem