Kyrsten Sinema challenges Karine Jean-Pierre on southern border security: "Anyone with eyes can see it"

The Arizona senator responded to Joe Biden's press secretary after she claimed that illegal immigration had decreased by 90%.

The dilemma over border security divides the Democratic Party. While the White House continues to insist that the southern border is secure since the beginning of its administration, some lawmakers have made it clear that this assertion is not correct. First it was Joe Manchin, then Henry Cuellar and now Kyrsten Sinema. The independent senator criticized Biden's press secretary for her comments on the issue.

Karine Jean-Pierre gave a press conference during the week, in which she stated that, thanks to the efforts by the Biden administration, illegal immigration had decreased by 90%. Senator Sinema went on Fox News and challenged the Jean-Pierre.

"Obviously, the border is not secure. Anyone with eyes can see that. And anyone who lives in a border state like I do, born and raised in Arizona, actually takes offense at comments like that because they’re just factually not true. The reality is, is that border communities in my state are suffering already, and that’s before the end of Title 42," said Sinema, who switched her affiliation to independent in December 2022.

"Just last week, I held a hearing in our border subcommittee and brought a Republican mayor and a Democratic mayor, both representing small border towns from Arizona. And we just asked them, what is it like every day in your town? And Bret, there are high-speed chases going on through the city of Sierra Vista right now with young teens driving cars and sometimes being killed or causing the death of others transporting drugs and other migrants through these communities," she continued in her conversation with Bret Beir.

As for possible solutions to address the issue, the senator emphasized that she is currently seeking to build bipartisan consensus, but that Joe Biden could start by enforcing current laws. "It would be most helpful if the administration would start by actually enforcing the laws that are on the books, that would provide confidence, particularly to Republican members of the House and the Senate, that we could get something done," she said.

Democrats vs. The White House for the southern border

Cuellar and Manchin already had run-ins with the White House regarding the border. The West Virginia senator disavowed Kamala Harris in September 2022 after the vice president defined the border as "safe." "But, for anybody — the vice president, president, anybody — to say our borders are secured, that is not accurate. I have been there. It’s wrong," he stated at the time.

The second Democrat to openly lash out against the White House was Henry Cuellar. Also speaking to Fox News, the moderate Texas congressman addressed the FY 2022 numbers, which ended with the highest number of illegal migrant encounters at the southern border in DHS history.

"First of all, no, the border is not secure. When you have 1.7 million individuals last year, and now another 2.7, that’s over 4.5 million individuals encounter at the border, plus the — if you add the getaways, that’s going to be over 5 million individuals in just two years. No, the border is secure — it’s not secured and we’ve got to make sure that we have repercussions there," the representative specified.