Dec. 7, 2023 / Updated Dec. 7, 2023
TUCSON, Ariz. (KVOA) — In a recent interview with News 4 Tucson, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema expressed both optimism and concern regarding the ongoing border crisis, emphasizing the need for bipartisan collaboration to address the challenges faced at the U.S.-Mexico border.
When asked about the outcome of the national security supplemental vote, Sinema said: “It didn’t contain any policy changes to help solve the crisis at the border. So while I consider it a good start, it’s certainly not sufficient for what we need to get done.”
The senator, actively engaged in bipartisan negotiations alongside Senators James Lankford and Senator Chris Murphy, acknowledged the progress made and also made it clear that much more must be done to fully manage the situation.
Sinema says the key problem lies in the exploitation of legal loopholes by cartels bringing migrants into the United States by exploiting asylum claims.
The senator’s priority is to close this loophole, ensuring that those with legitimate asylum claims can apply fairly and safely while preventing economic migrants and potential threats from entering the country unchecked.
“We want a system that allows people into the country legally, to work, or to seek refuge, if they qualify, and we want to be able to keep people out who do not qualify. And right now the United States government is not able to do that,” Sinema commented.
Sinema plans to work with the Department of Homeland Security to identify necessary legal changes that would allow the U.S. government to regulate the influx of individuals at the border.
“There are a number of things that should be done. First resources need to be surged to the areas where cartels are seeking to exploit gaps in the system. Right now that is Lukeville. But we have seen in the past other parts of the southern border that are being exploited by the cartels,” Sinema said.
“The second thing I would do is engage in Congress to clearly lay out what legal changes need to occur so the administration can effectively control and manage the border,” Sinema remarked.
The senator emphasized the need for increased resources to efficiently manage the flow of people who approach the border. The state is seeking $14 million but Sinema says it isn’t enough.
The senator argued that national security concerns warrant a more substantial financial commitment.
When asked about the possibility of a resolution before the legislative session concludes, the senator’s response hinged on the willingness of colleagues to set aside partisan differences and reach a compromise.
“Right now, the partisans are in charge, they’re more interested in getting clicks on the internet and getting kudos from their base and are not interested in solving the problem. I need people who are willing to actually solve the crisis because in Arizona, we can not afford more of the partisan rhetoric. We need action,” Sinema said.