Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema appeared on the show “Face the Nation” in February

Transcript of Interview with Senator Kyrsten Sinema on Face The Nation, February 4, 2024

Host: Good morning, Senator Sinema. Thank you for joining us today.

Senator Sinema: It’s great to be here, Margaret.

Host: As one of the chief negotiators of the Senate immigration proposal, can you share any details about the deal that is still not public?

Senator Sinema: Well, as you know, the text of the deal is still being finalized by the appropriations committee. My role was to lead the negotiations for the border policy changes that are desperately needed. I have been working closely with Senators Lankford and Murphy for the past four months to create a workable policy that makes significant changes to our asylum system and border policy.

Host: Will the $14 billion requested by President Biden be enough to execute this plan?

Senator Sinema: That is a question for the appropriations committee, who are in the final stages of putting together the bill. My focus has been on the policy changes, not the funding.

Host: One of the changes you have mentioned is ending catch and release. Can you explain how this will work?

Senator Sinema: Absolutely. We have all seen the images of large numbers of migrants approaching the border and being released into the country with a notice to appear in court years down the line. Our plan ends this practice. When individuals approach the border and claim asylum, they will go through a short-term detention process where we will conduct an interview to determine if they meet the standard for asylum. Those who do not meet the standard, which is the majority of migrants, will be swiftly returned to their home country. For families and other individuals who cannot be detained, we will supervise them for three months and conduct an interview with a higher standard of proof for asylum. If they do not meet this standard, they will also be returned to their home country.

Host: Thank you for clarifying that, Senator Sinema. We appreciate your time and insight on this important issue.

Senator Sinema: Thank you, Margaret. It was my pleasure to be here.  

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