DHS Briefs Kelly, Sinema on Arizona Border Security & Readiness

U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials updated both senators on the current state of the Southwest Border and efforts to address increased migration

Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema received a briefing by U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials on the agency’s preparedness and efforts to respond to increased migration and the current state of the Southwest Border.

“Today we received an update on how staffing, resources, and policy are impacting border operations in Arizona. The men and women working on the ground put their lives on the line every day to secure the border. I will keep working closely with DHS and pushing the Biden administration to ensure that our law enforcement are getting the resources and support they need to ensure a secure, orderly, and fair process at the border,” said Senator Mark Kelly. 

“Today’s briefing offered an opportunity to see the Administration’s readiness and posture at the Southwest Border. Arizona communities bear the brunt of the federal government’s failure at our border, so we’re pushing for transparency and accountability from the Administration to secure the border, keep Arizona communities safe, and ensure migrants are treated fairly and humanely,” said Sinema, Chair of the Border Management Subcommittee.

Both senators have repeatedly expressed concerns about the historic levels of migration at the Southwest Border and have stressed to DHS officials how the lack of comprehensive planning and investments could harm Arizona communities and migrants – especially local nonprofits that are already near or at capacity due to the current border crisis. 

Kelly recently announced he successfully pushed the Biden administration to close the border barrier gaps at Morelos Dam in Yuma. Kelly’s announcement came after several months of Kelly’s coordination and planning with the White House and DHS beginning in December 2021. In May, Kelly also toured the Morelos Dam in Yuma and discussed the impact of the border crisis with Border Patrol, local law enforcement, and local leaders.

In June, Sinema toured the San Ysidro Port of Entry to see how port modernization strengthens border security and received a briefing from the Region 9 Southwest Coordination Center on their coordination with Arizona border communities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

In April, Sinema and Kelly, along with a bipartisan group of senators, introduced legislation ensuring the Administration coordinates and communicates with border communities, and puts a comprehensive, workable plan in place before lifting Title 42. The senators’s legislation specifically delays the Administration’s planned end to Title 42 for at least 60 days.