Following the Sinema-led Congressional delegation to Arizona’s border, Senator questioned Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on the Administration’s plan to support and secure Arizona communities
WASHINGTON – Following the Congressional delegation trip she led to Arizona’s border, Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema questioned Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the Administration’s plans to manage the ongoing security and humanitarian crisis at the Southwest border.
“With the Title 42 termination imminent, I remain concerned that DHS is not ready. This is the same sentiment that I expressed at this hearing last year, and unfortunately, no action taken between then and now has changed my opinion. And, more importantly, the opinion of leaders in border communities who will be left to manage the fallout,” said Sinema, Chair of the Border Management Subcommittee.
The Administration will end COVID-19-related emergency declarations on May 11, which will also remove the basis for Title 42. With planning models indicating that migrant encounters will likely increase after Title 42 ends, the Senator continues to have serious concerns over preparations to handle the anticipated large surge of encounters.
During the hearing, the Senator asked Secretary Mayorkas what the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is doing to address cartels’ online recruitment of Arizona teenagers to participate in dangerous smuggling operations. Sinema stressed the importance of passing her Combating Cartels on Social Media Act – bipartisan legislation she introduced requiring DHS to implement a strategy to address cartel recruitment occurring on social media platforms and establish a portal for technology companies to report cartel recruitment efforts – to keep Arizona families and communities safe.
Earlier this month, Sinema led a Congressional delegation to tour the Southwest border near Naco to continue her focus on the ongoing security and humanitarian crisis impacting Arizona communities. The Senator was joined by U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Congressman Juan Ciscomani (R-Ariz.), Congressman Tony Gonzales (R-Texas), and Congressman David Valadao (R-Calif.). Prior to the Sinema-led tour, the delegation participated in a local perspectives discussion with Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels and other local leaders to hear from the Arizonans on the frontlines of the ongoing border crisis.
At the end of last year, Sinema partnered with Republican Senator Thom Tillis on a bipartisan proposal to fuel investments in Border Patrol Agents and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations Officers; improve control of the border through increased enforcement, technology, resources, and more; modernize the asylum system; reform the employment visa system to ensure our nation’s global competitiveness; and establish a pathway for legal citizenship for roughly 2 million Dreamers who were brought to this country when they were children through no fault of their own.
In a December Senate floor speech about her bipartisan proposal, Sinema vowed to continue her work finding a path forward on a comprehensive plan to secure the border and ensure the humane treatment of migrants in the new year by bringing committed colleagues to the Southwest border.