SOMERTON, Arizona (Border Report) — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema led a bipartisan delegation on a tour of the border in southwestern Arizona near the town of Somerton.
The group also toured the El Paso area on Monday.
The senators toured several sites, including Yuma’s soft-sided processing center, the Morales Dam Gap and the Cocopah Fence break known as the Yuma Gap.
The group then took part in a roundtable discussion to talk about the impacts of immigration on border communities.
The senators, which also include Republican John Cornyn of Texas and Democrat Mark Kelly of Arizona, also got a chance to ask questions from members of the community, law enforcement and nongovernmental organizations.
“This is a group of senators who have a really good track record of getting things done,” said Sinema, I-Arizona. “I’m not going to predict we’re going to have great success, what I will tell you success is available and this is a group of people who are willing to get it done.”
Cornyn added he is hopeful immigration reform will happen in the near term and that this delegation will lead the way.
“I’m hopeful that we will act and we will act responsibly embracing that heritage of legal immigration which has made our country exceptional and the envy of the world,” said Cornyn.
Kelly shared Cornyn’s desire to find a solution.
“I’m hopeful that we can work over the next weeks and months to come up with a bipartisan solution and then it’s on us to convince our colleagues to move forward with a proposal that will better secure the border and at the same time provide the resources to communities along the border to deal with the humanitarian aspect of this issue,” said Kelly.
Migrant advocates like Fernando Quiroz, with the Arizona-California Humanitarian Coalition, remained skeptical and hoped the senators’ visit was more than just a photo op.
“Enough of the talk of reform, enough of the talk of that we’re going to do this, it’s time to step up, introduce it, let’s get it passed for those millions that are already here and the new incoming individuals that we’re telling you’re unwelcome here,” said Quiroz.