KGUN 9NewsBorder Watch


Nogales Mayor says city has not seen a spike in asylum seekers yet

Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino.jpg
Posted at 7:37 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 01:27:02-04

NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN) — Some Arizona leaders are declaring a crisis along the southern border, but not all areas of the border are getting hit equally hard.

It’s an evolving situation in Nogales.

Mayor Arturo Garino tells KGUN 9 one day he was told that there was a possibility asylum seekers could be released into his small border community, but by the next morning that was no longer the case.

“I can honestly tell there's nobody across the line that is wanting to come across. How in the past. Yes, we've had, asylum seekers, because I've seen them myself,” he said.

Garino does not think there is a crisis in Nogales.

"There is no crisis in nogales, okay. There might be a crisis in texas and I'm not gonna say there isn’t because I see the numbers. But here in nogales, there is no crisis,” explained Mayor Garino.

It’s not mayor Garino’s first time seeing a spike of migrants enter our southern border. It’s round three— the first round was in 2014.

"Those children that are come through our ports. They came to Texas, kinda like what is happening right now. And they were transported to Nogales for our process instead of the border patrol here," he explained.

The second wave was in 2019.

Just because it’s quiet now, doesn’t mean the city isn’t prepared.

“Not prepared in the sense that we have housing for people that they weren't be released in the streets here in Nogales, but prepared to be able to find ways of how to help them with other organizations, you know, basically you help people like this with nonprofit organizations,” he said.

Mayor Garino said if things change he hopes that the federal government will step in because there is no room in the city budget for asylum seekers.

He said the solution to all of this is to work across the aisle to accomplish comprehensive immigration reform.

"If you had good immigration reform, you would not have caravans of people leaving Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala," he said