Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) plans to lead a bipartisan group of senators on a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border next Congress to see the country’s “broken” immigration system up close.
“Part of the problem is that many in Washington have never taken the time to really see our border up close,” Sinema said in a floor speech on Tuesday. “Without seeing it for all of its diversity and its challenges, it can be easy to rely on the partisan talking points instead of focusing on the meaningful, realistic solutions.”
Sinema said she and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) plan to convene a bipartisan group of senators in January “who are willing and committed to get something done” on immigration and organize a trip to the border.
“We’re gonna see what Arizonans see every day because a crisis this big should not and cannot be ignored,” she added.
Sinema’s calls for bipartisan attention to immigration come in the wake of her and Tillis’s unsuccessful attempt to include protections for “Dreamers” — adults who are in the country illegally because they were brought to the U.S. as children — in the federal government’s $1.7 trillion spending package.
The uncertain future of Title 42, a Trump-era immigration policy that allowed border officials to turn away asylum-seekers, has also brought renewed attention to border issues.
Title 42 was previously set to expire Wednesday, after a federal court struck down the rule and gave the Biden administration five weeks to wind down its use. However, the Supreme Court temporarily halted the termination of Title 42 on Monday.
The anticipated end of the rule has led to an influx of migrants at the southern border. The border town of El Paso, Texas, declared a state of emergency on Saturday, as its shelters were overwhelmed by the increase in migrants, forcing some to sleep on the streets.
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