Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s upcoming border plan has 2 key goals

Jan 12, 2024, 4:25 AM

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said she’s putting together a two-pronged plan to fix Arizona’s border crisis during a Thursday interview with KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show.

“We all know that the status quo is not sustainable. It is a crisis at any way you look at it,” Sinema said. “What we’re doing, in our legislation, is really just stressing two key issues.”

Because border issues are so complex and technical, it’s taken a while to get to this point, she added. However, Sinema said she is close to presenting a final framework to her colleagues.

What is Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s border plan?

Part one of the plan is to stop cartels from disguising economic migrants as asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their home countries, she said.

Sinema said she wants to reduce the backlog of asylum claimants by clearing out false claimants and prioritizing people who are actually fleeing to the U.S. for their own safety.

“Part two is to actually gain operational control of the border,” Sinema said. She added that thousands of people enter the U.S. through holes in the border wall and wait to interact with border patrol officers.

Her plan won’t be as simple as shoving people over the border, she clarified. It comes down to giving border patrol officers a similar level of authority to what they had under Title 42 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We need to reestablish a system that allows us to return people to their home countries when they don’t have a legal authorization to be in the country,” Sinema said.

How the Kyrsten Sinema border plan will benefit Arizona

Her plan will institute a new system that allows the Department of Homeland Security and border patrol agents to provide “real security” at the border.

Under her plan, officials will be able to stop people trying to unlawfully enter the country from proceeding, she added.

“That’ll be a huge relief to the communities like Yuma and Lukeville, Nogales, Bisbee, all of our communities in southern Arizona that have just seen this huge influx of migrants,” Sinema said. “That will be a massive change for them and allow us to have order and safety and security at the border.”

Unique challenges for negotiators

Sinema said she’s working with Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, and James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma.

Their bipartisan partnership comes with a few hurdles, as different parties have said they have different specific goals. One Republican call for action is to boost salaries for border agents, for instance.

However, the negotiators are all on the same page when it comes to closing the asylum loophole, Sinema said.

They want to establish an orderly process so leaders know who is coming into the country, she added.

This way, hopeful migrants wouldn’t have to swelter in the Arizona desert day after day.

“It’s no surprise that Democrats and Republicans have different ideas of how to reach that goal,” Sinema said. “My job, as I see it, is to help bring those two parties together.”

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Promotional image of rapper 21 Savage...

Kevin Stone

Rapper 21 Savage coming to Phoenix this spring on his ‘American Dream Tour’

Grammy Award-winning rap star 21 Savage is bringing his distinctive flow to Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre in Phoenix this spring.

1 hour ago

Mugshot of Raad Almansoori, who was indicted by an Arizona grand jury on eight felony charges...

Kevin Stone

Violent crime suspect wanted for NYC murder indicted on 8 felony charges in Arizona

Violent crime suspect Raad Noah Almansoori was officially charged with eight felony offenses in Maricopa County, officials announced Tuesday.

3 hours ago

Group picture of ABOR members....

SuElen Rivera

Amidst UArizona’s financial challenges, Hobbs chastises university public governing board

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs on Monday chastised the state's public university governing board for attacking UArizona's faculty instead of addressing its failures and a $177 million deficit.

3 hours ago

A gloved hand holds a Planatome surgical blade...

Kevin Stone

Planatome, a Phoenix-based surgical blade maker, plans to double size of workforce

Planatome, a Phoenix-based medical device company that makes advanced surgical blades, announced plans to double its workforce.

5 hours ago

Jose “ET” Rivera, owner of Tres Leches Cafe, speaks during a rally against an Arizona immigrati...

Martin Dreyfuss/Cronkite News

Arizona business owners rally against bill requiring E-Verify checks for jobs, benefits

Arizona business owners rallied Monday against an immigration bill they say will drive businesses and workers out of the state.

7 hours ago

Traffic backed up near Quartzsite...

Eastbound I-10 temporarily closed near Arizona-California border due to fiery crash

Eastbound Interstate 10 near the Arizona-California border was temporarily closed after a fiery crash Tuesday morning, authorities said.

8 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.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s upcoming border plan has 2 key goals