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.”

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