Arizona leaders call on Joe Biden to take action at the border

A government contractor walks beside a completed section of border wall along the Colorado River, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 in Yuma, Ariz. [Photo Credit: AP Photo | Matt York]

For months, Arizona leaders have called on President Joe Biden to respond to the growing issues at the border. Across both party lines, leaders are asking for action to resolve the issues like increased unaccompanied children arriving at the border.

In April, Attorney General Mark Brnovich sued the Biden administration over what he called “environmentally disruptive” decisions to halt border wall construction and change immigration policies.

In early May, Gov. Doug Ducey joined 19 other governors to call for the Biden administration to take action and reverse their policies regarding the U.S. border. The letter described worsening conditions at the border. Gov. Ducey declared a state of emergency at the southern border and deployed the Arizona National Guard to support law enforcement agencies in border regions.

The Biden administration on Tuesday formally ended a Trump-era immigration policy that forced asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court. According to the AP report, the administration has kept in place pandemic-related powers introduced by President Donald Trump in March 2020 to expel people to Mexico without an opportunity to seek asylum. Still, Mayorkas acknowledged they are planning on lifting more restrictions.

Rep. Andy Biggs commented on the issue, stating, “Today’s announcement from the Department of Homeland Security that they will be officially ending the Migrant Protection Protocols agreement is proof that the Biden Administration is pro-open borders and against enforcing immigration laws. Biden’s border crisis was not made through trial and error, but was thoughtfully executed as part of the administration’s overarching immigration plan. Biden continues to blatantly disregard the sanctity of our nation, all while ignoring the humanitarian crisis at the border and mounting catastrophe within our communities.”

This week U.S. Senator Mark Kelly joined Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced the Border Response Resilience Act to require DHS and federal partners to create a strategic plan and conduct exercises to improve the federal response to increased migration at the border. The bill gives DHS access to contingency funding to activate the plan in case of future increases in unaccompanied children, asylum-seekers, and migrants at the border.

Kelly stated, “The federal government has repeatedly failed Arizona on immigration and border security in part because there isn’t a plan or the necessary resources. The Border Response Resilience Act that Senator Portman and I introduced takes the politics out of the process by requiring DHS to develop a response plan that prioritizes safety for border communities and a humane process for migrants. A coordinated federal response with dedicated funding will allow DHS to prioritize their mission of border security, keep the burden from falling on Arizona communities, and allow for a more secure and orderly process at the border.”

Rep. Debbie Lesko stated on Twitter, “We are in the middle of the worst border crisis, but Biden’s budget proposal mentions border security ZERO times, includes NO money for border wall construction, and sends billions to Central American countries flooding the U.S. with illegal immigrants.”

Rep. David Schweikert sent a letter to Tae Johnson, acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He stated on Twitter, “Following recent reports that @ICEgov will be using a closed hotel on Scottsdale Rd and Shea as a detention center for migrants, I am requesting they provide my office with more information on their plans for this facility.”