Senators met with United States Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Enforcement and Removal Operations, non-profits, and local leaders to hear perspectives from frontline Arizonans after Title 42’s end
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Chair of the Border Management Subcommittee, and Ranking Member James Lankford (R-Okla.) participated in a bipartisan Congressional delegation tour of Arizona’s border to address policy gaps and identify real, lasting solutions to secure the border, protect Arizona families and communities, and ensure migrants are treated fairly and humanely.
“Our visit to Arizona’s border shows what border communities and local leaders have told me for months: the federal government’s failure to manage the border leaves our state to manage a crisis we did not create. I’m proud to count on Senator Lankford as a key partner – together, we’ll take what we learned back to Washington to bring colleagues together and deliver lasting solutions,” said Sinema, Chair of the Border Management Subcommittee.
Last Tuesday, the Senators led a roundtable discussion with local community leaders – including the Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, Pima County Office of Emergency Management, Nogales Mayor Jorge Maldonado, the Tucson Mayor’s Office – on the front lines of the humanitarian crisis at the Southwest border following the termination of Title 42. During the discussion, the Senators highlighted the impacts of the border crisis on local communities, including operational challenges when small communities are left to manage migrant releases on their own. Sinema and Lankford also received a tour of the U.S. Border Patrol Soft-Side facility, where family units and unaccompanied children are processed, to see firsthand the impact of the end of Title 42 on processing procedures.
On May 11 and 12, overwhelmed Border Patrol facilities were forced to release migrants in small communities, including over 100 migrants in Nogales. Local leaders from across the state stepped in to prevent a humanitarian and public safety disaster. The Senators emphasized that these communities should never have been put in this position, and that this crisis was caused by the federal government’s failures on the border, and is therefore the federal government’s responsibility to manage.
On Wednesday, Sinema and Lankford toured the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry – the only Land Port of Entry in Arizona accepting CBPOne App appointments – to review operations and new processing procedures following the end of Title 42. After touring the Port, the Senators completed a line tour of the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales with Agents from the U.S. Border Patrol’s Nogales Station.
The Tucson Sector, which includes the Nogales Station, is one of two Border Patrol sectors in Arizona. It covers a total of 262 border miles, and it is one of the busiest border sectors in the country in both migrant encounters and illicit narcotics seizures.
Sinema and Lankford’s trip to Nogales is the latest in a series of visits to the border. In January, Sinema led the largest bipartisan delegation in recent memory of U.S. Senators – including Senator Lankford – to the Southwest border in El Paso, Texas, and Yuma, Arizona, to see firsthand the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis that Arizona border communities experience every day.
Click HERE to watch Senators Sinema and Lankford’s joint interview on Fox News Tonight.