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Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema helps introduce bipartisan border legislation

Parents check on their infant on the bank of the Rio Grande after they were smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border on April 14, 2021 in Roma, Texas. A surge of mostly Central American immigrants crossing into the United States, including record numbers of children, has challenged U.S. immigration agencies along the U.S. southern border. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – A bipartisan group of Congress members from both chambers, including Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, proposed legislation Thursday to address the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Sinema, a Democrat, introduced the Senate version of the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act along with Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn.

Two other Texans, Republican Rep. Tony Gonzales and Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, introduced the House version.

“I am proud to introduce bipartisan, bicameral legislation ensuring the federal government takes meaningful steps to support our border communities, secure the border, and treat all migrants and unaccompanied children fairly and humanely,” Sinema, chairwoman of the Border Management Subcommittee, said in a press release.

The 71-page bill includes provisions to create regional centers along the border to facilitate more efficient processing of asylum seekers.

It also would require federal authorities to communicate with local officials and nonprofit groups that provide assistance to asylum seekers before releasing migrants into communities.

On Wednesday, Sinema and fellow Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly sent a letter to President Joe Biden seeking federal resources to address the influx of border crossings and reimburse Arizona for expenses related to the deployment of the state National Guard.

Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in six counties and said he would deploy the Arizona National Guard to provide support for local law enforcement agencies in border regions.

Ducey met with local officials on Wednesday in Yuma, where he urged Biden to “deploy the vast powers of your administration to stop what’s happening here” during a press conference.

He said the state will initially provide up to $25 million for the Arizona National Guard’s deployment, which will start with 250 members providing logistical, field and operational support to lighten the load on local law enforcement agencies.

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