Sen. Sinema wants Biden to ‘take aggressive steps’ on border security
PHOENIX – It’s not just Republican leaders from Arizona who are pressing President Joe Biden to do more about the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema sent Biden a letter, co-signed by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), on Monday urging him “to use your full authorities to effectively respond to and successfully manage the ongoing crisis at our Southwest Border.”
“It is critical that our nation take aggressive steps to secure our border, protect our communities and ensure migrants are treated fairly and humanely,” the letter says.
The border state senators requested immediate action on two matters: providing “sufficient resources and facilities at the border to manage the crisis” and “taking concrete steps to improve the asylum process.”
They also said Congress will “develop bipartisan and commonsense responses to the surge of migrants at the border” and work with the administration on the matter.
Sinema, chair of the Senate border management subcommittee, and Cornyn called the number of people seeking entry into the U.S. from Mexico “alarming.”
“Today’s situation is very similar to other surges we have seen along the border over the past decade,” their letter says. “Current facilities and services are insufficient to handle the present challenge.”
Last week, during a visit to Arizona’s southern border, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey tore into the Biden administration as being “totally divorced from the reality on the ground.”
“Our No. 1 priority is keeping Arizonans safe, and we want to keep these migrants safe, as well,” Ducey said Friday in Douglas.
“We need more commitment from Washington to address these needs.”
Ducey and other Republicans have criticized the Biden administration for both their policies and their messaging, saying migrants were misled into thinking it would be easier to get into the U.S. than it was under President Donald Trump.
Biden told reporters Sunday at the White House that “at some point” he would go to the border and that he knows what is going on in the border facilities.
“A lot more, we are in the process of doing it now, including making sure we re-establish what existed before, which was they can stay in place and make their case from their home countries,” Biden said upon returning from a weekend at Camp David.
The White House dispatched Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to four Sunday news shows in an effort to stress that it was working to get things under control.
“Our message has been straightforward — the border is closed,” Mayorkas said. “We are expelling families. We are expelling single adults. And we’ve made a decision that we will not expel young, vulnerable children.”