PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona wants solutions for Title 42, the COVID-related border policy that limited asylum-seekers’ entry to the United States that is set to end in three weeks.
Sinema told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Friday that she believes the number of migrants at the border could quadruple without a good plan in place.
“The numbers are just astronomical right now and we don’t have a legal system that is robust enough to decide quickly who who can legally come into the country and who can’t,” Sinema said.
“Our border communities are just overwhelmed with the flood of migrants who are entering the country and it creates a real crisis situation in those communities.”
Sinema, fellow Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona and two other senators wrote to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Nov. 18 of their “deep concerns” about preparedness for the end of Title 42.
The policy is scheduled to end Dec. 21.
President Joe Biden is traveling to Arizona next week for the first time during his presidency, but he’s not scheduled to go to the border.
“I’m pushing really hard to hold the administration accountable and I’m working with my colleagues in the Senate to try and find both short and long term solutions to this crisis,” Sinema said.
The ban has been unevenly enforced by nationality, falling largely on migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — in addition to Mexicans — because Mexico allows them to be returned from the United States.
Nationalities that are less likely to be subject to Title 42 have become a growing presence at the border, confident they will be released in the United States to pursue their immigration cases.
“It would just be unbelievable for communities like Douglas, but also for communities like Yuma and Tucson,” Sinema said. “It’ll just be overwhelming.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.