Border state Democrats begin to distance themselves from Joe Biden on the immigration crisis; they accuse him of not acting quickly and forcefully.
Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema lament the federal government’s lack of attention to the immigration crisis, and expressed disappointment after Biden’s speech ignored the situation.
“While I share President Biden’s urgency in fixing our broken immigration system, what I didn’t hear tonight was a plan to address the immediate crisis at the border,” Kelly said in a statement.
The senator said it is Biden’s responsibility to deliver the resources and staffing necessary to achieve “a humane and orderly process” while working to improve “border security, support local economies and fix our immigration system.”
“Sen. Sinema has been clear that she — along with Sen. Kelly — wants to see more action from the administration to address the border crisis and support Arizona border communities. She’s spoken directly with administration officials on this,” Sinema’s office said.
Sinema had already joined Republican Senator John Cornyn in March to urge Biden to use his “full authorities” to respond to an “ongoing crisis” at the border.
The two sent a letter to the president asking him to take “immediate action” in two areas: making sure there are sufficient “resources and facilities” along the border and improving the asylum process.
According to a Fox News poll, 46 % of Americans believe the situation at the border is worse under Biden than it was under Trump two years ago. Only 15% said border security is better under Biden and 33% said it is the same.
Biden in silence on the migration crisis
Since Biden took over the White House, his border policies have not slowed the immigration crisis. His decisions have been framed as long-term palliative actions and diplomatic solutions.
In fact, four prosecutors from various U.S. states sued the administration to reinstate Donald Trump’s immigration measures, which had drastically decreased illegal immigration numbers.
The criticism of the Democratic senators comes in addition to the constant letters sent by Republicans to the government to know in depth the impact of the crisis and its economic consequences in the country.
Last Monday, April 19, the top Republicans of three House committees asked Kamala Harris for a meeting to discuss immigration. In the letter, they stated that “it is unclear what action has been taken or is planned to be taken to respond to the crisis that continues to worsen daily.”
Likewise, two other House Republicans are looking for ways to press Biden on how much money the government is spending as a result of the current border crisis.
Representatives Jason Smith (R-MO) and John Katko (R-NY) expressed their concerns in a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Shalanda Young. These are the ranking members of the House Budget and Homeland Security committees, respectively.
It remains to be seen what concrete answers the Biden-Harris administration will give to the border crisis, which has already broken records in numbers and, according to the senators themselves, is not likely to improve.