Kelly, Sinema Speak with Homeland Security Secretary, Discuss Title 42
Both Senators said Title 42 border authority should not end without implementing comprehensive plan
Prematurely ending Title 42 further risks a humanitarian crisis and the health and safety of migrants and Arizona communities
WASHINGTON – Today, Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema spoke with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to discuss the Administration’s Title 42 contingency plan, following the senators’ recent letter to the President urging him not to end Title 42 without a firm, workable plan. Both senators underscored in their letter how Arizona communities and migrants could be harmed if a Title 42 end is not accompanied by proper planning, coordination, and resources.
“From day one, I have worked to ensure a secure, humane, and orderly process at our southern border. There is still not an adequate plan or sufficient coordination to end Title 42 without further straining our law enforcement, border communities, and nonprofits providing humanitarian assistance to migrants. We’ll continue to push the Biden administration for the resources and support Arizona needs amid this crisis at our southern border,” said Senator Kelly.
“Ending Title 42 without a comprehensive plan in place puts at risk the health and safety of migrants and Arizona communities. We’ll keep working with Arizona local leaders, DHS agents and officers, and community organizations serving on the front lines of the migrant crisis to hold the Administration accountable to ensure we secure the border, keep Arizona communities safe, and ensure the fair and humane treatment of migrants,” said Senator Sinema, Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Border Management.
During their conversation, Kelly emphasized the need for proactive engagement and clear communications between the Department of Homeland Security, Congressional offices, local officials, sheriffs, and local governments. He also asked Secretary Mayorkas for details on how the increased funding Kelly and Sinema secured in the omnibus for border management and security will be used, especially as Title 42 is lifted.
During their conversation, Sinema told Secretary Mayorkas she plans to hold a hearing as Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Border Management on DHS’s efforts to prepare for the end of Title 42. Secretary Mayorkas committed DHS’s participation in Sinema’s hearing. Sinema also raised concerns she heard from her recent virtual border roundtable with federal and non-governmental partners in Arizona, and other conversations she has had with Arizona DHS officials. Sinema called for DHS to launch an intergovernmental coordination effort to ensure communication between federal, state, local, and non-governmental partners to strengthen cooperation. Secretary Mayorkas agreed and will move forward with an intergovernmental strategy for border communities across the country.
Last June, Kelly and Sinema asked Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to proactively create a comprehensive plan in advance of an end to Title 42 and requested to be briefed on this plan. In their most recent letter, the senators say they have not seen evidence that DHS has developed and implemented a sufficient plan.
Recently, Kelly and Sinema secured critical federal funding to help Arizona manage the current migrant crisis, improve border security, and keep Arizona communities safe, including additional funds for community organizations helping manage the border. Kelly and Sinema have continued to push the Biden administration for a plan that ensures a more orderly, secure, and humane border response.