EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Unauthorized migration is shifting toward southwestern Arizona, where local authorities recently declared a state of emergency.

Migrant encounters are up 2,404.9% during the first two months of the 2022 fiscal year in the Yuma Sector of the Border Patrol, according to recently updated U.S. Customs and Border Protection data. Yuma agents in October and November of 2020 apprehended 1,777 foreign nationals, compared to 44,512 in the past two months. That doesn’t include a major surge reported during the first two weeks of December.

More than 6,000 migrants came across from Mexico between Dec. 4 and Dec. 9, prompting Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls to proclaim a local emergency.

“Migrants are traveling through Yuma during a time of great uncertainty about the COVID-19 virus and without provisions, adequate food, water, shelter transportation and medical care,” read the declaration which called for federal and state resources to deal with the humanitarian crisis.

As recently as two weeks ago, 20 to 25 migrants were still showing up daily to Yuma seeking emergency medical care, per local news reports.

Graphic courtesy CBP

In the El Paso Sector, migrant encounters are up 68.5% in the first two months of the new fiscal year. Agents in the sector are routinely coming across migrant stash houses where foreign nationals are often found in cramped quarters without having been fed and with no safeguards against contracting COVID-19.

These are some of the migrants U.S. Border Patrol El Paso Sector agents located inside two stash houses in Clint and Socorro, Texas, earlier this month. (Photo courtesy CBP)

The agency on Dec. 8 raided two stash houses in Socorro and Clint, Texas, taking 31 migrants into custody. Since Oct. 1, El Paso Sector agents have turned up 33 stash houses and apprehended 340 migrants.