By Corinne Murdock |
Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) hasn’t pressed President Joe Biden lately on the border, let alone a visit there, despite the number of illegal border crossings reaching an all-time historic high: 1.7 million. It was revealed that Biden hadn’t ever visited the border after Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy brought the topic up to Press Secretary Jen Psaki last month.
Psaki circled back to the topic in last Friday’s White House press briefing, in response to a follow-up by Doocy after Biden claimed he’d visited the border during a CNN town hall the day before. Psaki appeared to allude to a report by The Washington Post, which stated that the last time Biden visited the border was a “drive-by” in 2008. According to that report, he drove by the border while on the campaign trail for previous President Barack Obama.
AZ Free News inquired with Kelly’s office for comment. They didn’t respond by press time.
The most recent action from Kelly on the border concerns hearings for Biden’s nomination for Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) commissioner. Last week, Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus sat before the Senate Finance Committee for a confirmation hearing.
Both Kelly and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) vowed to the committee that Magnus would be an optimal choice for CBP commissioner. Sinema emphasized Magnus’ capabilities to protect the border; Kelly remarked that Magnus would be a “committed public servant,” not pointing fingers at the Biden Administration but rather stressing that “decades” of broken immigration laws and politician failures were to blame for the border.
In comparison to Kelly, Sinema has been more vocal in her discontent with Biden’s handling of the border. Sinema demanded that the Biden Administration “do more” to address the illegal immigrants.
“The reality is that this is a crisis and we all know it, and the federal government must do more to address this surge of migrants who are coming to the border in increasing numbers each year,” said Sinema.
Though Kelly hasn’t asked Biden to visit the border, both he and Sinema requested in April that Biden reimburse Arizona for their National Guard deployment expenses. Then in August, they petitioned Biden again to reimburse the state’s expenditures following a show of support for Governor Doug Ducey’s announcement that he would be extending the deployment of the 150 guardsmen for another year.
Biden hasn’t footed the bill.
In July, however, Biden did approve legislation to reimburse the National Guard $521 million for their deployment of 26,000 troops following the January 6 riot at the Capitol.