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Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema on border reform and Biden administration

(CBS, KYMA/KECY) - Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema spoke with Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan on Sunday for an exclusive interview about the border deal lawmakers are working on in Washington.

"My job was to lead the negotiations for the border policy changes that we so desperately need. And that's why I've worked with Senator Lankford and Senator Murphy over the last four months to create workable policy that makes dramatic but needed changes to both our asylum system and border policy."

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.)

Sinema spoke about what border policy changes were included in the bill such as ending "catch and release."

"No one knows our law changes that and in the practice of catch [and] release. So when people approach the border and say they want to enter our country to seek asylum, they will go into one of two situations. First short-term detention, which means we take them into custody. And we actually do an interview right then and there to determine if they meet the standard for asylum, for individuals who do not meet that standard, which by the way is most of the migrants who are coming to our country right now, they'll be swiftly returned to their home country. And for folks that we can't detain like families, for instance, will ensure that we're supervising them over the course of just three months and conduct that interview with that new, higher standard, requiring them to shore more proof early on about whether or not they qualify for asylum and return them to their country. If they do not have the evidence or the proof that they qualify for asylum. So, we'll no longer have people just entering the country and maybe going to court in the next seven or 10 years. Instead, we'll make swift justice. Folks who do qualify for asylum will be on a rapid path, six months or less to start a new life in America. And those who do not qualify will quickly be returned to their home countries."

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.)

During the interview, Brennan and Sinema spoke about what border policy changes and what the legislation would require from the White House.

"Our law actually requires the administration to implement these tools...We've all heard misinformation and frankly, just kind of rumors saying, well, the administration doesn't have to shut down the border until you get to 5,000 crossers a day. Well, that's not true...when too many people approach the border asking to come in seeking asylum, we are now mandating that the government actually shut down the border if those numbers get to 5,000 a day, but we're permitting the government to actually shut down the border when it only gets to 4,000 approaches a day. And the reason we're doing that is because we want to be able to shut down the system when it gets overloaded. So we have enough time to process those asylum claims, whether it's through detention or whether it's through supervision, like for families, we want enough time for the government to be able to process these asylum claims and then turn folks away who do not qualify while settling people who do qualify. So, we've placed provisions in the law that mandate the enforcement of each of these provisions of our law mm-hmm and require the Biden administration and any future administration to actually implement this. So we're requiring it, not permitting it. And that's a key difference from existing immigration law."

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.)

To watch more of Brennan's interview with Sinema, click here.

Article Topic Follows: Arizona Politics

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