Sen. Sinema: Large-scale deportations would be difficult to execute
PHOENIX — U.S. Sen Kyrsten Sinema thinks it wouldn’t be easy for President Donald Trump to follow through on a threat he made to begin large-scale deportations of illegal immigrants.
Sinema told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Tuesday she believes the sheer number of illegal immigrants and shortages of funding and staffing at the border would slow the process.
Trump tweeted Monday night that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement next week will “begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”
Sinema said Trump hasn’t consulted with anyone in the Senate about the deportation plan, which was tweeted to his 61 million followers.
“We know that there are thousands of people approaching our border on a weekly basis and right now, our country is not doing the best job in deterring these individuals from coming or processing their cases quickly to get them back home to their home country,” Sinema said.
She said her focus isn’t solely on a short-term solution, but also a long-term one.
Border officer workloads and overloaded nonprofits are some of the issues hampering Arizona’s southern border.
“Our country is really struggling and we’re stretched to the limit to deal with the asylum seekers who are coming to the border ports,” Sinema said. “In fact, we are running out of money to take care of the situation at the border.
“Our system is tapped to the limit.”
U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs said Tuesday at least 2 million immigrants in the country illegally were likely the focus of potential deportations.
Whether Trump’s plan will come to fruition quickly or effectively is still unknown.
Sinema said she’s willing to work with people on both sides of the aisle to find a solution.
“As senators, we are working on a bipartisan plan to address the actual crisis occurring at our southern border,” Sinema said. “I’m spending my time and energy working with the Department of Security, with the chief of staff and people on both sides of the aisle to solve this problem and actually find meaningful resolutions.”