Border visits by Biden and Senate gang put immigration reform front and center
The separate trips come as House Republicans are expected to bring two anti-immigration bills to the floor in the coming weeks.
A day after President Joe Biden visited the southern border for the first time on his way to Mexico for the North American Leaders Summit, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the independent senator from Arizona, led a bipartisan delegation of colleagues to the region to see what her constituents see every day in hopes that the crisis will inspire a sense of urgency to act.
Sinema first announced the visit before the holidays last month during a floor speech on called for Congress to pass a series of provisions that one side of the aisle supports more than the other, including supplementing existing security barriers with technology, streamlining the asylum process, updating the employment visa system and creating a pathway to citizenship for people who were brought to the US as children.
Jon Blazers, director of border strategies at the American Civil Liberties Union, told Supercreator in an interview that in many cases these visits have been more about grandstanding and checking a box than about good-faith learning, but that ACLU and similar advocacy groups invite a true curiosity about the reality of the border no matter the political party or position.
“We want our elected officials of both parties to make decisions about the border with more direct knowledge and understanding of what is going on at the border,” Blazers said. “I think looking at who they’re meeting with and what they’re seeing there and whether it really is opening up a new perspective for them is important.”