Sinema & U.S. Border Patrol Chief Discuss Needed Action Amid Crisis at Arizona’s Border

Nov 14, 2023

Meeting comes as Arizona’s Tucson Sector continues to be a national hotspot for migrant encounters

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema met with U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) Chief Jason Owens to discuss Arizona’s needs amidst the ongoing border crisis. Chief Owens briefed Sinema on current USBP operations and the organization’s priorities.

Sinema highlighted her focus on bringing solutions-focused colleagues together to craft meaningful, lasting solutions that will actually secure the border, keep Arizona families safe, and ensure the fair and humane treatment of migrants. The meeting comes as Arizona’s Tucson Sector continues to be a national hotspot for migrant encounters.

“The United States Border Patrol is America’s first line of defense when it comes to securing our borders and protecting Arizona communities. I am thankful for Chief Owens’ leadership and commitment to identifying solutions that will help get Border Patrol agents back in the field and focused on this important mission,” said Sinema, Chair of the Border Management Subcommittee.

The Tucson Sector continues to be a hotspot for migrant encounters. In September 2023, the Tucson Sector had the highest number of encounters of all sectors with 51,001 encounters. Overall, throughout Fiscal Year 2023, the Tucson Sector had the third highest number of encounters with 373,625 encounters. From September 12, 2023 through today, over 14,000 migrants have been released into small Arizona communities, including Nogales, Douglas, Bisbee, and Casa Grande.

In a recent Senate Homeland Security Committee Hearing with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Sinema called for serious, meaningful action addressing the growing crisis at the Southern border. The Senator 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 directly into Arizona communities  – straining local resources, stranding migrants, and endangering communities.