Sinema Criticizes Biden Admin on the Border: ‘This Is a Crisis; We All Know It’

POLITICS & POLICY
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 16, 2019. (Erin Scott/Reuters)

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) on Thursday criticized the Biden administration over the “crisis” at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the federal government “must do more” to address a surge of migrants entering the country illegally.

“The reality is that this is a crisis,” Sinema said during an interview with KTAR News. “We all know it, and the federal government must do more to address this surge of migrants who are coming to the border with increasing numbers each year.”

Sinema noted that Arizona recently has seen the highest number of border crossings in 20 years.

The senator’s comments come on the same day that White House press secretary Jen Psaki faulted the “nature of” media as having been a “big driver” behind the use of the term “crisis” when referring to the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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During an interview with The Axe Files with David Axelrod podcast Thursday, Psaki claimed that the migrant surge “wasn’t really a crisis,” just a “huge challenge.”

Yet even President Biden referred to “the crisis that ended up on the border with young people” last month. However, Psaki insists he was not referring to migrants crossing the border and that the comment has been misinterpreted.

Sinema said Thursday that having grown up in southern Arizona, she knows “firsthand how Arizona, especially our small border communities, have been paying the price for our federal government’s failure to fix our system over the past several decades.”

She added that as the new chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management, she is working to “ensure the administration is taking better steps to support border communities.”

The Arizona Democrat said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had personally promised her that he would work with the state’s border communities to address their concerns.

“What I’m waiting for is the administration to take bold action to actually address these concerns,” Sinema said.

Sinema, who introduced the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act in the Senate last month along with Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas), has called on Biden to declare an emergency at the border to allow the National Guard to provide logistical support to border authorities.

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