(NewsNation) — Migrant crossings in Yuma, Arizona have increased by 584% this year compared to last year, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This comes as Title 42 is set to end this month, bringing an expected increase in illegal crossings.
At the border there has been a constant scene of crossings and apprehensions. NewsNation spotted 13 migrants crossing the Colorado River from Mexico to the United States.
The group of over a dozen, among them small children, made their way to the country from Peru, Colombia and Cuba.
No region on the U.S.-Mexico border has experienced the surge of migrant crossings like the Yuma sector. The city’s mayor, Douglas Nicholls, says his EMT services are overwhelmed and the Border Patrol agents can’t keep up.
“1,000 people a day come across the border and are interdicted by patrol. So you look at that in a month, a full third of our community is coming across the border,” Nicholls told NewsNation.
The latest numbers come as Title 42, the regulation that allows Customs and Border Patrol agents to turn away migrants with the goal of preventing the spread of disease, is set to expire on May 23.
Nicholls says it shouldn’t end anytime soon. He says there are 52 gaps in the border wall that need to be filled in order to funnel migrants to apprehension sites. He says agents don’t have enough resources or personnel to handle what’s set to come.
Across the Rio Grande River, Mexican officials are now pledging to help secure the border in Texas but not in Arizona.
“We need to have a robust system for truly addressing asylum problems for those who truly need asylum,” Nicholls said.
The federal government’s position is that Title 42 is a Band-Aid solution and needs to be done away with to make way for total immigration reform, but many law enforcement officials contend it can’t be done away with until that reform is in place.