Dec 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Sinema: Federal government has "failed" the southern border

Sen. Kyrtsen Sinema (D-AZ) speaks at a news conference

Kyrsten Sinema speaks at a news conference on Nov. 29. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The federal government has "failed its duty" to communities on the southern border over the past 40 years, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) said during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" that aired Sunday.

Driving the news: Sinema made waves in Congress this week by announcing that she was leaving the Democratic Party and registering as an independent mere days after Democrats secured a 51-49 majority in the Senate.

  • Reflecting on her decision, Sinema told host Jake Tapper that it is important to her "to not be tethered by the partisanship that dominates politics today."

The big picture: Asked by Tapper about Republican claims that Democrats "don't take border security seriously," Sinema painted both parties as responsible for problems regarding the southern border.

  • "As a native Arizonan, born and raised on the southern border, I can tell you unequivocally that the federal government has failed its duty in the last 40 years," Sinema said.
  • "Everyone. The federal government has failed here. Places like Arizona, front lines of this crisis have been paying the price every single day since then," she added.
  • "So for us, this isn't just a talking point of team A versus team B. This is our life every day."

Sinema said she supported finding a path to legal citizenship for Dreamers as well as "securing the border."

  • "This is a perfect example of why I'm so frustrated with partisanship that has gripped our nation," Sinema said.
  • "It's not either/or. It's and. Both of those concerns are real and valid, and we as a government have a duty to solve both of those concerns."
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