Arizona Senators Condemn Republicans Over Border Crisis Resolution Setback


While Arizona’s two senators typically avoid criticizing Republicans directly, Wednesday marked a turning point as Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly expressed their disapproval of the right’s role in derailing the Senate’s bipartisan border security deal.

Record numbers of individuals have been crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, with an average of over 262,000 crossings in the past three months.

Looking for a resolution, a group of Senators including James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma; Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut; and Sinema, an independent, introduced a bill that gained support from border community leaders, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the border patrol’s union.

However, the former President expressed strong disapproval of the deal, describing it as highly unfavorable and suggesting it would benefit the Democrats. He has made the border a central issue in his 2024 campaign.

Senate Republicans who had previously backed the effort quickly withdrew their support, resulting in the bill’s defeat on Wednesday with a vote of 49-50.

The Arizona Democrat expressed their belief that some senators prioritize politics over problem-solving. They accused these individuals of making a political decision to please Trump when they voted against the bill.

Democrats have made significant concessions in order to reach a border agreement. They have decided to abandon their previous demand that border enforcement policy be tied to significant immigration reforms. By doing so, they alienated some progressive Democrats who believed the bipartisan bill exceeded their expectations.

The border deal would have brought about changes to the asylum system, including raising the fear standard and enabling asylum officers to review claims instead of solely relying on immigration judges.

Supporters argue that this measure would have a significant impact on reducing the current backlog of immigration court cases, which currently stands at over 3 million.

In addition, the bill aimed to put an end to the practice of individuals crossing the border illegally, surrendering to border patrol, and then living in the US while their asylum case is being processed.

If the average number of illegal crossings reached 5,000 within a 7-day period, border authorities would no longer be obligated to process the asylum claims made by those who crossed the border illegally.

Sinema stated during a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday. “However, in a surprising turn of events, my Republican colleagues had a change of heart less than 24 hours after we released the bill.”

It seems that they prefer empty words over taking any real steps. Recent findings indicate that border security does not pose a threat to our national security. It’s merely a topic of discussion for the upcoming election.

Republican Opposition Over Migrant Issue

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 05: Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) arrives for an all-senators closed briefing where they will hear from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky via video conference at the U.S. Capitol on December 05, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Republicans who were against the bill primarily disagreed with the threshold of 5,000 that would allow authorities to reject asylum seekers who entered the country illegally.

They argued that the president should have the option to trigger this authority if the 7-day average reached 4,000. Opponents of the bill inaccurately described the provision as a regulation allowing 5,000 unauthorized border crossers to enter the United States daily.

Lankford stood his ground against his conservative colleagues and staunchly defended the bill until the very end. During his Wednesday floor speech, he acknowledged that the bill may not be flawless, but he also recognized that the current situation is unsustainable.

He expressed his concern that Washington lawmakers were unnecessarily politicizing the issue and called on his colleagues to listen to the advice of the National Border Patrol Council and back the bill.

Lankford highlighted the comprehensive nature of the 370-page deal, which encompasses funding for the border wall, an increase in the number of agents, and advancements in border technology.

The proposal aimed to expand the capacity for detained migrants, create more employment and family-based visas, and provide pathways to citizenship for Afghan allies who arrived in the country following the Taliban’s takeover.

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