Yuma mayor calls for action at southern border with Biden visiting Arizona

The lack of federal resources at the border is a cause for concern for Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls.
Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 8:06 PM MST
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YUMA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — With President Joe Biden’s visit to the state, some are criticizing the president for not visiting the southern border. Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls was in Tempe on Thursday for Biden’s visit, where he planned to talk to the president. He also planned to hand him another copy of a letter he had already sent to Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas a week ago.

In the letter, the mayor said the lack of resources at the border is an increasing concern, especially when local resources are being diverted to help Tucson. The mayor noted that Biden’s visit to Arizona would not include the southern border, where border communities are dealing with the border crisis.

Yuma border patrol has been helping the Tucson sector process migrants due to over-capacity in Tucson. Some CBP agents at the port of entry are also helping process migrants. Some agents have been pulled away from their normal duties at the port of entry to help border patrol.

It’s what led the mayor to take a stand against recent policies he says are impacting the Yuma region. In his letter, Nicholls states this policy is a security risk and would impact border wait times in San Luis. He said it would impact the region’s workforce, many crossing the border every day. This includes agriculture workers who supply food for the nation.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded to critics about Biden not visiting the border. “The president has gone to the border very recently within this year to see for himself what the CBP is doing and the work they’re doing. The president has taken this very incredibly seriously. This immigration system has been broken for decades. We were able to hire 24,000 more CBP agents, which is a record, but look, the work continues,” she said.

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