Senator questioned Homeland Security officials on security and support for Arizona communities and capacity at ports of entry as Administration plans to suspend Title 42
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema, following her exchange with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), questioned DHS officials on the country’s current security and capacity at ports of entry as the Administration plans to mitigate the impacts of its self-imposed timeline for terminating Title 42.
“Yesterday, this committee heard from Secretary Mayorkas regarding the DHS plan for handling the expected influx of migrants. I have not yet seen evidence that Arizona has received sufficient resources to manage an end to Title 42. Promises and platitudes are not enough. In order to meet this moment, DHS needs to put the necessary resources on the ground and implement processing system improvements in a manner that will keep Arizona communities safe, and treat migrants fairly and humanely,” said Sinema, Chair of the Senate Border Management Subcommittee and member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
During the hearing, Sinema indicated she remains concerned DHS will not be able to procure sufficient resources by the Administration’s self-imposed Title 42 termination deadline given the ongoing staffing and resource shortages. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) daily transportation capacity, according to a memorandum, should now be 9,000 individuals – still well below the anticipated maximum daily arrivals rate of 18,000 migrants.
Sinema underscored how robust migrant processing at ports of entry is a key part of the DHS plan for the Southern Border. However, Sinema noted, Arizona’s ports of entry were not designed to manage large-scale asylum processing, creating potentially volatile situations that are unsafe for CBP officers and migrants.
During yesterday’s hearing, the Homeland Security Secretary expressed support for Sinema’s recently-introduced Bipartisan Border Solutions Act with Republican Senator John Cornyn (Texas) that improves the federal government’s response to the border crisis, reduces the impact on local border communities, ensures migrants are treated fairly and humanely, and improves management and security along the border.
Sinema recently cosponsored the bipartisan Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act – legislation that boosts the number of U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel at ports of entry, increasing border security while facilitating legal trade and travel.
Partnering with a bipartisan group of senators, Sinema recently introduced legislation that ensures the Administration coordinates and communicates with border communities and puts a comprehensive, workable plan in place before lifting Title 42.