Arizona’s Sinema says Biden administration not taking steps to stem flow of migrants

Mar 10, 2022, 4:25 AM | Updated: 11:21 am
Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Pool/Getty Images)...
Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Pool/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Democratic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona criticized the Biden administration following a roundtable on the southern border Wednesday, saying nothing has been done to stem the flow of migrants.

“Nothing, there’s not been any active steps to stem the flow of migrants from the border,” Sinema said in a press conference. “One of the things I’ve been working on with my colleagues in both parties is to discuss the fact that the current flow is unsustainable.

“D.C. has shown little regard for the actual crisis that’s occurring in Arizona, and we know that. We’ve paid the price for the federal government’s failure to fix our broken immigration system for most of my lifetime.”

Sinema, who is chair of the U.S. Senate subcommittee on border management, met with stakeholders on the front line managing the migrant crisis. This included officials from immigration and customs enforcement, border patrol, non-governmental organizations that provide humanitarian aid, as well as leaders from Sky Harbor International Airport and Greyhound Lines to talk about operational challenges.

She said one of the challenges that were discussed at the roundtable is the month-over-month increase of migrants presenting themselves at ports of entry along the southern border, learning that has been occurring each month over the past year.

Chris Clem, chief of the Yuma Sector Border Patrol, told Sinema he is processing over 1,000 migrants each morning.

“We do not have the person-power to do that work,” Sinema said. “Our CBP officers are stretched incredibly thin at our ports of entry.”

Border patrol agents have also told Sinema they are spending less than 10% of their time on patrol as they transport a record number of individuals who approach the border between ports of entry.

Sinema added non-governmental organizations that help migrants are facing capacity concerns. A number of migrants have also been traveling to Sky Harbor Airport recently without finalized travel preparations. She said this has resulted in staff of the airport, who are not trained in providing short-term humanitarian support, assisting migrants.

The bipartisan $1.5 trillion government funding bill includes $150 million that Sinema says will be used to help non-governmental organizations and border communities assist federal agencies to manage the ongoing challenges at the border.

“This funding is emergency relief but as we know it doesn’t solve the crisis we are facing at the border,” Sinema said.

Sinema said she is working with other senators to increase the number of border patrol agents in the southern region and adjust salary and benefits to retain qualified officers, propose legislation that would create regional processing centers to reduce the pressure on border communities, as well as create opportunities to deter people by communicating that coming to the border does not guarantee a long-term stay in the country.

“The administration does need to take action, the last administration also failed in this effort, take action to curb the flow of traffic that is coming from other countries,” Sinema said. “There hasn’t been as much movement on this as those of us in border states like Arizona and Texas have been calling for for many years.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix police seek information on death of man found shot on bridge near I-10

Police are investigating the death of a man who was found shot to death on a bridge that goes over the I-10 freeway in Phoenix. 
22 hours ago
FILE - Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)...
Associated Press

Probe of Arizona senator’s comments on Buffalo shooting concludes

The attorney for the Arizona Senate's ethics committee submitted a report Friday on his investigation of a Republican lawmaker's online comments that appeared to blame the federal government for a supermarket massacre in Buffalo, New York.
22 hours ago
(Photo by/KTAR News' Taylor Kinnerup)...

About 100 people tried to get into Arizona Senate, tear gas used at protest after abortion ruling

Upwards of 100 people tried to get into the Arizona Senate building and tear gas had to be used at a protest in downtown Phoenix Friday night following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortions, authorities said.
22 hours ago
(AP Photo/Bob Christie, File)...

Arizona state Sen. Nancy Barto provides updates to state abortion law

Arizona state Sen. Nancy Barto provided clarity on Arizona abortion law following the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
22 hours ago
(Pixabay photo)...

1 child dead, brother in critical condition in Glendale drowning incident

One child is dead and another is in critical condition after a drowning incident in Glendale on Friday night.
22 hours ago
(Facebook photo/City of Mesa Police Department)...

Mesa police shooting results in non-life threatening injuries to suspect

Two Mesa police officers were involved in a shooting Friday night at 8100 E University but did not suffer any injuries, according to authorities.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Arizona’s Sinema says Biden administration not taking steps to stem flow of migrants