Arizona Democratic Sens. Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema blasted President Joe Biden for refusing to address the southern border crisis and lay out a clear plan for how to get control of the immigration surge.
“This continues to be a major problem that shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of Arizona communities. And I think it was important to highlight that it wasn’t part of the address last night,” Kelly said, referring to Biden’s address before a joint session of Congress.
During the Wednesday night speech, Biden vaguely called for immigration reform but refused to mention the ongoing border crisis directly.
“We’ve got to address this, and it can’t be on Arizona taxpayers and Arizona towns that are really struggling right now,” Kelly added. “It’s a federal government problem.”
Kelly, who won a special election last year to fill the seat vacated by the late John McCain, R-Ariz., faces re-election during the 2022 midterms, with polls now showing many Americans strongly disapprove of the Biden administration’s mishandling of the border.
Apart from one accidental slip, Biden has refused even to label the situation at the border a “crisis.”
Instead, his White House handlers were instructing administration officials to call it a “challenge.”
Several Democrats, however, including Kelly and Sinema, urged him to take the crisis seriously.
“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,” Sinema’s office told Fox News. “She’s spoken directly with administration officials on this.”
Instead of addressing these Democrats’ concerns, Biden has blamed former president Donald Trump for the crisis, claiming the Trump administration’s initial delay in cooperating with the transition team left Biden’s administration unprepared.
“The two departments that didn’t give us access to virtually anything were the immigration and the Defense Department,” Biden told NBC in an interview taped Thursday.
Trump has responded to Biden’s finger-pointing by highlighting many of the successful policies his administration had implemented, such as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, that Biden repealed.
“We had the best border than we ever had in history, admitted by everybody, and all they had to do was leave it,” Trump said after Biden’s address. “All they had to do was leave it alone and now it’s a disaster. What a shame for our country.”