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New bill addresses crisis at the border

Arizona and Texas senators team up to get relief for Southwestern cities - News 11's Crystal Jimenez & CBS 13's Cody Lee report

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Senator Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) are teaming up to take aim at the crisis along the Southwestern border.

Thursday the senators announced a new bill addressing the influx of undocumented immigrants, and providing relief to those on the front lines.

Communities across Arizona and Texas have faced many challenges since the start of the year, including the rise in unaccompanied children coming into the U.S.

"Congress needs to step up and be part of the solution to this problem. So that's why we've introduced the bi-partisan Border Solutions Act." said Sen. Cornyn.

Both Senators touted the move as the first bi-partisan bi-cameral bill of it's kind to help border communities. It seeks to reduce the wait times for those seeking asylum. Sen. Cornyn said there are currently 1.2 million immigration cases on a backlog. He said, at the current rate, it would take more than two-years for an asylum seeker to see a judge.

The Border Solutions Act seeks to solve that problem by hiring more immigration judges, border patrol officers, and hundreds of additional staff to speed up processing of asylum cases.

"The bill will improve the asylum process. By improving the legal orientation program and access to council and how to make the system more efficient by prioritizing the fair and efficient adjudication of claims, to deter migrants that don't have valid asylum claims from making the dangerous journey to our border in the first place." said. Sen. Sinema.

Sinema said, as someone who grew up in Southern Arizona, she's seen first-hand the impact of huge influxes of immigrants. The senator said she feels it's unfair for the federal government of force communities to pay the price for a broken system. She said this measure tries to fix it.

"The bill would also prioritize the need for local border communities and require Department of Homeland Security to improve its transportation capabilities." the senator said. "It will also require notification to local border communities and non-governmental organizations prior to releasing migrants. Doing this would avoid overburdening smaller communities while improving coordination and communication between local governments and the federal government."

On Wednesday, both Arizona senators wrote a letter to President Biden asking him to reimburse the state for the deployment of service members.

“Senator Sinema and I realize as most Arizonans do that this shouldn't be on the shoulders of communities in Arizona this is a federal government problem and Washington has really failed on this issue for decades now,” Sen. Mark Kelly said.

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Crystal Jimenez

Crystal Jimenez began at KYMA as a Digital Content Producer in June 2019, and is now a multimedia journalist.

Reach out to Crystal at

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Cody Lee

Cody Lee joined 13 On Your Side and KYMA News 11 in March 2020, but he’s no stranger to Arizona. He grew up in the Phoenix area and enjoys everything Arizona has to offer.

You can contact Cody at


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