ARIZONA NEWS

Sen. Sinema wants compassionate border solutions to end migrant surge

Apr 8, 2021, 4:55 AM
U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona...
U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s senior U.S. senator is looking for compassionate solutions to the surges of unaccompanied migrant children at the border — which she called “unsustainable.”

But Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) also wants balance in border solutions out of Washington.

“We can’t continue to have thousands and thousands of people present themselves at our southern border every single day,” Sinema said in a virtual event hosted by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.

She and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) are pushing the White House to change immigration policies quickly. The two of them also share a bill they hope will change asylum policies to stop the surge now and every spring.

Sinema also earmarked $110 million in the last COVID-19 relief package, the American Rescue Plan, to reimburse border agencies, communities and non-profits shouldering the burden for migrant care and transportation.

But she wants Washington to do more than that.

“Nowhere do we know more about the federal government’s failure to address immigration than in Arizona,” Sinema said. “I was born and raised in southern Arizona. This has been a problem my entire life.”

Also in the virtual “Update from Capitol Hill” event, Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) shared his vision of federal infrastructure investment that includes raising a tax that former president Donald Trump cut in 2017.

“The corporate income tax rate was drastically reduced,” he said. “There is discussion about that and other ways to raise revenue for some of these investments.”

But Kelly doesn’t want the $2 trillion package President Joe Biden proposes to cripple job growth, especially out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He wants it to include fixes for ports of entry, especially in Arizona, to boost trade and reduce drug and human trafficking.

Kelly sees bipartisan support for I-11 fixes, transportation programs and broadband expansion.

But he isn’t holding his breath that Washington will approve the infrastructure package by the Fourth of July.

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Sen. Sinema wants compassionate border solutions to end migrant surge