By Corinne Murdock |
The Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport has become somewhat of a rite of passage for illegal immigrants as the federal government charters them across the country. It marks another moment in their lengthy journey of free travel and accommodations, all on the taxpayer’s dime.
Illegal immigrants are also bused to the airport from the border, and have flooded Phoenix Sky Harbor by the hundreds on a daily basis.
This practice has continued now for several years under the Biden administration. Last summer, Rebel News caught the practice on video: a confused illegal immigrant asks a TSA agent for assistance as he navigates the airport.
Over two years in, and meaningful border policy has yet to emerge from Arizona’s leaders in D.C.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who chairs the Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management, has been largely unsuccessful in mitigating the border crisis. Sinema chalked it up as a win last Oct. when she claimed to have halved the number of illegal immigrants being bused to the airports by arranging additional shelter or alternative transportation for them.
In May, Sinema helped introduce legislation to retain the functional aspects of Title 42 after the policy ended; the legislation hasn’t moved.
Since the end of Title 42 and with the border crisis unrelenting, Sinema has embarked on multiple trips to the border. In her most recent trip, Sinema claimed she was shocked by the state of the border: namely, that border agents are so overwhelmed with processing asylum claims that they’re unable to patrol the border.
“Our border patrol agents [are] spending the majority of their time processing asylum seekers and migrants, and spending very little time actually out in the field looking for individuals who are seeking to enter the country unlawfully, or interdicting the trafficking of drugs,” said Sinema.
Sinema noted that this was a problem because the majority of drugs are being smuggled in outside of legal ports of entry.
Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-03), who seeks to take over Sinema’s seat in 2024, supported the end of Title 42 and opposed border security proposals as “cruel” for being reminiscent of policy set by former President Donald Trump.
Rather than requiring illegal immigrants to seek asylum at legal points of entry along the border, Gallego proposed more asylum processing resources to mitigate the crisis.
“They need tangible resources like buses, beds, personnel, and funds to both process asylum claims in an orderly way and keep their communities safe,” said Gallego.
Gallego has long opposed the construction of physical border barriers as a means of security.
While the federal government accepts illegal immigrants into the country and charters them by plane, American citizens face further bureaucratic hurdles to fly with the imposition of REAL ID. All citizens must obtain an updated ID bearing REAL ID markings by May 7, 2025 in order to fly. The government also doesn’t accept interim driver’s licenses (temporary paper licenses).
The original REAL ID deadline was in 2021, but has since been twice extended to this year, then to 2025.
2025 comes two years sooner than the average court date for illegal immigrants. The national average for an immigration hearing sits at over 1,500 days: over four years. Arizona’s average sits at just over 1,000 days: over two years and eight months.
The delays have caused an unprecedented number of immigration lawsuits filed in federal court.
According to Syracuse University data, the immigration court backlog has reached nearly 2.5 million, with nearly 13,400 pending criminal/national security/terror cases. Arizona has over 17,000 pending cases, with about 360 pending criminal/national security/terror cases. The national backlog nearly doubled after President Joe Biden took office, from 2021 to 2022.