The Jury Talks Back


Arizona Democrat Works To Hasten Removal Of Migrants Without Valid Claim For Asylum

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 1:57 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Immigration advocates are strongly opposing this effort by Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz), as expected:

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is pushing for the implementation of a pilot program along the U.S.-Mexico border that aims to more quickly screen and remove migrant families without valid legal claims for asylum in the United States.

Sinema, D-Ariz., joined a bipartisan group with eight other senators who sent a letter Wednesday to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan describing their proposed program, dubbed “Operation Safe Return.”

How the program would work:

The program would allow the Department of Homeland Security to deport certain migrants within 15 days, according to the letter, and would help alleviate overcrowding at border facilities, Sinema said.

“This pilot program would apply to families who aren’t claiming ‘credible fear,’ which of course is the first threshold in seeking asylum,” Sinema told The Arizona Republic. “If someone says ‘I left my country because I can’t make a living,’ (or) ‘it’s hard to take care of my family’ — that’s what we call an economic migrant.”

Sinema, who is one of the creators of the program, explained how the program came about:

Sinema said she came up with the idea for the pilot program in response to a meeting with White House and Trump administration officials who she said were focused on changing asylum laws and challenging court rulings like the Flores Settlement Agreement, dictating how the government treats certain migrants.

“I just felt those weren’t the right answers,” Sinema added. “We wanted to solve the problem. We wanted to protect the asylum process for valid applicants … and we want to respect the Flores decision.”

And speaking of Arizona Democrats bucking their Party on immigration, U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly flashed his own independent streak when he voiced opposition to making Tuscon a sanctuary city:

Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Mark Kelly blasted an initiative to make Tucson a “sanctuary city,” saying that he will not vote for the measure.

“(I’m) strongly against this, I’m not going to vote for it,” Kelly said Tuesday, “I think it’s a mistake.”

In November, voters will decide whether Tucson declares itself Arizona’s first “sanctuary city,” which limits local law enforcement’s cooperation with federal immigration agents.

Kelly… said cities and states should follow federal laws.

“This is contrary to that so I’m not in favor of that. I think it’s also detrimental to the City of Tucson in that it could impact some federal funding it receives,” he said.

Ironically, this stand puts him on the same page as his Republican opponent, Sen. Martha McSally.

But Kelly didn’t just buck Democrats on sanctuary city policies: He also said “no” to extending health care to illegal immigrants, a position all of the Democratic presidential candidates support:

‘We’re having a hard time providing good healthcare for all Americans,” Kelly said, “providing free healthcare coverage for folks who are here illegally, I’m just against that.”

Moreover, the Democratic candidate also said he was not in favor of decriminalizing illegal border crossings:

Kelly disagreed with the more progressive candidates in the presidential field who want to decriminalize unauthorized border crossings.

“I am not in favor of decriminalizing that it makes border security more difficult,” he said.

I’m liking these Arizona Democrats.


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