ARIZONA NEWS

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)

(D-AZ)

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.”

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Follow @suelenrivera...

SuElen Rivera

City of Goodyear unveils state-of-the-art Fire Station 188

The city of Goodyear held a grand opening ceremony on Thursday for the addition of its latest fire station.

6 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Tucson Police Department)...

Associated Press

Man already serving life sentence convicted of killing Tucson girl who vanished from parents’ home

A man already serving a life sentence was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder in the killing of another Tucson girl years earlier.

9 hours ago

A suspect who accidentally shot and killed a fellow IRS agent at a federal gun range in Phoenix was...

Danny Shapiro

Suspect indicted on manslaughter charge in death of fellow IRS agent in Phoenix

A suspect who accidentally shot and killed a fellow IRS agent at a federal gun range in Phoenix was indicted on a manslaughter charge, authorities announced Friday.

10 hours ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

11 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: A closer look at the alleged cover-up of Preston Lord’s fatal beating

Arizona Republic investigative reporters Robert Anglen and Elena Santa Cruz join guest host Kristin Bentz to further explain the latest developments in the Preston Lord investigation. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

11 hours ago

A sign in front of a building identifies Valleywise Behavioral Health Center – Maryvale in Phoeni...

Kevin Stone

Valleywise Health replenishing mental health care capacity after staffing setback

Valleywise Health is working to replenish its mental health care capacity after cutting back because of staffing shortages in 2022.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

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