(NewsNation) – Migrant crossings at Yuma, Ariz., are up 584% this year over last, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This comes as Title 42 is set to end this month, leading to an expected increase in illegal crossings.
At the border, there was a constant scene of crossings and arrests. NewsNation spotted 13 migrants crossing the Colorado River from Mexico to the United States.
The group of more than a dozen, including young children, traveled to the country from Peru, Colombia and Cuba.
No region on the US-Mexico border has seen the wave of migrant crossings like the Yuma sector. City Mayor Douglas Nicholls says his EMT departments are overwhelmed and Border Patrol agents can’t keep up.
“1,000 people a day cross the border and are blocked by patrols. So you look at that in a month, a third of our community crosses the border,” Nicholls told NewsNation.
The latest figures come as Title 42, the regulation that allows Customs and Border Patrol agents to turn back migrants in an effort to prevent the spread of disease, is due to expire on May 23.
Nicholls says it’s not expected to end anytime soon. He says there are 52 gaps in the border wall that need to be filled in order to route migrants to the apprehension sites. He says officers don’t have enough resources or staff to handle what’s 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 a strong system to really solve asylum problems for those who really need it,” Nicholls said.
The federal government’s position is that Title 42 is a band-aid and should be scrapped to make way for total immigration reform, but many law enforcement officials argue that it can’t be scrapped until that this reform is not in place.