What’s happening at southern Arizona’s border nearly a week after Title 42?

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 10:44 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - It’s been five days since the lifting of Title 42 restrictions, and the situation at the border is much quieter than expected.

According to the Biden Administration, border crossings have dropped 50% since last Thursday, May 11th.

Mayor Jorge Maldonado of Nogales and Mayor Donald Huish of Douglas tell 13 News it has been quiet at the border.

Both Maldonado and Huish said they haven’t seen a major influx of migrants crossing and since both communities have limited resources the mayors can only hope it stays that way.

“It’s been calm, they have been calm hopefully they continue to do it the right way,” Mayor Maldonado said. “They’re not rushing or pushing to get across. They are just waiting their turn.”

Both mayors are thankful the situation at the border wasn’t as bad as expected.

“We’re prepared, we are trying to be prepared, the uncertainty was killing us,” Huish said. “We weren’t sure what was going to happen and it’s actually been calm.”

Huish said Douglas is seeing around 150 migrants a day.

He said constant communication with the mayor of Agua Prieta has helped.

“We ask are they gathering, are there tent cities? What is going on over there,” Huish said. “He says it’s been calm, it’s been really really calm. We aren’t experiencing that, we aren’t seeing it.”

Nogales has encountered 474 migrants since the lifting of Title 42.

Maldonado said misinformation spreading from refugees is becoming a problem.

“A lot of rumors and these guys started calling their relatives to come from all the shelter. A bigger line started,” Maldonado said. “These people got to understand the easiest way to cross is by the CBP One Mobile App.”

Huish fears more illegal activity may happen with border patrol stretched thin.

“We may not see it but we are afraid of the people who want to bring drugs in and stuff like that,” Huish said. “They are looking with border patrol focused over here and they want to run through over there.”

The mayors agree collaboration and communication are important to move migrants forward.

“Hopefully, we have these busses continuing to work so they take these people up to Tucson,” Maldonado said. “All these people don’t want to stay here in Nogales, they want to go to their destination. "

Mayor Maldonado adds funding is also important.

He said without proper funding, it will be more difficult to move migrants from the southern border to other parts of the United States.

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