Arizona’s Sinema says meeting with Border Patrol was ‘sobering conversation’
PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona met with the National Border Patrol Council in Yuma on Wednesday, a summit she described as a “sobering conversation” due to low morale and a continued flow of migrants at the southern border.
Sinema told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Wednesday that border agents asked for more federal help, which they believe will help alleviate stress and allow them to do their jobs more effectively.
“They’re spending a lot of time processing asylum seekers and migrants who are entering in between our ports of entry,” Sinema, a Democrat, said. “They have precious little time to do the work of interdiction … catching the bad guys who are smuggling drugs and smuggling people for human trafficking purposes.”
Bipartisan legislation introduced in April 2021 from Sinema and Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn calls for the Biden administration to create regional processing centers along the border to consolidate migrant processing.
Sinema said she’s working to gather more support for the bill, especially since border agents told her they were stretched thin.
“What they said is they need more resources and support to address this ongoing crisis and they want to be able to do their jobs,” Sinema said.
Sinema’s meeting came about a month after Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited Yuma to discuss surging migration numbers with Border Patrol.
Arizona’s senior senator said agents shared similar sentiments with her as they did with Mayorkas, but asked Sinema to help foster solutions.
Sinema said she’s also spoken at times with President Joe Biden about border issues.
“When I have spoken to him about the border, what I do is make sure that he understands how important it is to protect and support our men and women in green and and blue,” Sinema said.