Officials in Yuma, Arizona, a border town with a population of fewer than 100,000, are reporting that they are experiencing a weekly influx of migrants that totals 6% of the city’s population, putting a significant strain on the area.
Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines said the town sees about 6,000 migrants illegally crossing the border each week, with more than half a million crossing in the past few years. Lines noted that of the 6,000 people crossing the border each week, 1,000 to 2,000 are “gotaways” or were never caught.
The Arizona community has been a flashpoint for immigration for years, but the burden on the area often goes unnoticed. According to the New York Post, nonprofits, churches, and the medical system are already struggling. The hospital reportedly has over $22 million in unreimbursed expenses, specifically from people illegally crossing the border.
Additionally, the influx of migrants is threatening one of the city’s primary sources of income, agriculture. Alex Muller, a local farmer, explained, “Our fields are monitored and audited and tested for different pathogens. You can’t have people walking through the field.”
Local leaders have invited President Biden to visit Yuma, but during his last visit to Arizona, he said he had “more important things to do.” However, Border Patrol data revealed that approximately 5 million migrants have entered the United States illegally since President Biden took office. In December, a record high of 251,000 migrants were apprehended at the border.