Sinema in Appropriations Hearing: We Must Reject the Partisan Echo Chamber & Work Together to Secure our Border

Nov 14, 2023

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Sinema pressed the U.S. Secretaries of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services on the need to pass a robust national security package that includes significant resources for Arizona’s border

WASHINGTON – In a U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee hearing with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema emphasized the need to secure the Southwest border as part of a robust national security package that delivers resources to support Israel and beat Putin.

Sinema emphasized how Arizona communities bear the brunt of the federal government’s failures on the border, especially when migrants are released from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities into small border communities. Since September 12, over 14,000 migrants have been released into small Arizona towns – straining local resources, stranding migrants, and endangering communities. 

“Arizona communities cannot wait any longer. We must reject the partisan echo chamber and work together to make meaningful, lasting change to solve these issues and secure our border, keep Arizona families safe, and ensure migrants are treated fairly and humanely,” said Sinema, a new member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Border Management Subcommittee. 

In Fiscal Year 2023, the Tucson Border Sector saw a 48.3% increase in migrant encounters. The influx demanded that CBP reassign port officers from Southwest border land ports of entry to help process migrants – increasing port wait times and harming regular trade and travel.

During the hearing, Sinema questioned Secretary Mayorkas about the unsustainable, unprecedented current levels of migration, and what actions the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking to secure our border. Specifically, Sinema pressed the Secretary to explain how DHS is ensuring that other countries accept their nationals back when they are ordered removed from the U.S, and to show how DHS is improving infrastructure at ports of entry along the Southwest border to ensure trade and travel is not impacted while treating migrants fairly and humanely.

Additionally, the Senator secured commitment from the Secretary to resume weekly meetings between her office and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to be able to provide updates and answers to Arizonans.