Sen. Sinema peppers Homeland Security nominee over border security

Jan 20, 2021, 4:05 AM

(AP Photos)...

(AP Photos)

(AP Photos)

PHOENIX – U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona pressed President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security about his intentions for securing the state’s border and protecting Customs and Border Protection personnel amid the coronavirus pandemic.

During Tuesday’s hearing to potentially confirm nominee Alejandro Mayorkas, Sinema, member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, spent her time honing in on keeping Arizonans safe from cyber threats and the coronavirus.

“As a Senator from a border state, I know how important it is we work across the aisle to tackle threats against Arizona and along our country’s borders,” Sinema said in a press release.

Mayorkas, who would be the first Latino and first immigrant to hold the position, noted that the incoming Biden administration has outlined plans to combat the coronavirus across the United States. He also committed to ensuring outpatient access in rural border towns to ensure homeland security officers can easily access the coronavirus vaccine, if he is confirmed to the post

He also noted that he’s looking towards tackling technology gaps along the border and providing a more modernized approach to the ports of entry and monitoring who and what come into the United States.

“I think the challenges are considerable as are the opportunities,” Mayorkas said.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri said that he would block a procedural move to bypass full committee consideration of the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas to lead DHS.

The move means the Mayorkas confirmation must go to the full Senate and there’s little chance he can be confirmed as Biden takes office Wednesday.

Hawley said he made the move because Mayorkas, in his confirmation hearing, would not commit to spending the $1.4 billion appropriated to expand the border wall with Mexico. Biden said he would halt future construction and Mayorkas said he would have to determine how the law requires DHS to spend the money.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Phoenix Fire...

Occupant dead after vehicular crash leads to flames in Phoenix

One person died and two others suffered non-life-threatening injuries after a vehicle crash sparked a fire in Phoenix, authorities said. 

9 minutes ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump hugs and kisses the American flag a...

Associated Press

Trump calls himself a ‘proud political dissident’ in CPAC speech

In a CPAC speech, Trump painted an apocalyptic vision of the future if President Joe Biden wins again as the two prepare for a rematch.

2 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures to the audience after spea...

Associated Press

Donald Trump wins South Carolina GOP primary, beating Nikki Haley in her home state

Trump has now swept every contest that counted for Republican delegates, with wins already in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

2 hours ago

In this Sept. 30, 2011, file photo, solar panel installation continues at a rapid pace at the Mesqu...

Associated Press

Over 1 million Arizona customers to see rooftop solar fees increase

About 1.4 million customers in Arizona will be paying more for electricity now that regulators have approved a rate hike.

4 hours ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Police investigating fatal hit-and-run collision in west Phoenix

Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run collision that killed a female pedestrian in west Phoenix.

6 hours ago


David Veenstra

Arizona gets $10.3M in federal funding to restore ecosystem

The U.S. Department of the Interior is investing $10.3 million to restore Arizona's lands and waters this year.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Sen. Sinema peppers Homeland Security nominee over border security