DEMOCRATS launch bill to help border patrol: Arizona Senators Sinema and Kelly want to give 2,500 agents a 14% pay raise with morale in the gutter as crossings surge
- Kelly and Sinema joined GOP Sens. James Lankford and Rob Portman on bill
- It would establish a reserve Border Patrol
- Also would boost border agent pay to bring it up to other DHS agencies
Democratic Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly have joined a bipartisan legislative effort that would set up a reserve Border Patrol and give agents a 14 per cent raise.
The lawmakers are pushing the effort along with Republican Sens. Rob Portman and James Lankford to boost the agency, which has come under pressure by the surge of border crossings.
‘Border Patrol must maintain a strong workforce to secure the border, protect our communities, and ensure the fair and humane treatment of migrants. Border Patrol does not have the staffing or resources to meet that goal – our bipartisan legislation addresses these issues to adequately support Border Patrol as they protect Arizona communities,’ Sinema said in a statement Thursday.
According to sponsors, the legislation would increase the total number of U.S. Border Patrol agents to 20,500, with a newly created 2,500 reserve force.
Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly joined a bipartisan effort to boost pay of US Border Patrol agents
The pay boost, which is well above inflation, would make salaries ‘competitive’ with other Department of Homeland Security agencies, while standardizing training.
The agency has sometimes come under fire amid fierce partisan fights over immigration.
Last month U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published the findings of its Professional Responsibility’s investigation following the alleged ‘horse whipping’ incident in Del Rio, Texas, which produced a national uproar.
Also signing on was Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who said she would move ‘forward’ with the Democratic Inflation Reduction Act
The effort is cosponsored by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
The measure establishes a reserve Border Patrol and boosts pay for agents
Last month U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published the findings of its Professional Responsibility’s investigation following the alleged ‘horse whipping’ incident in Del Rio, Texas, which produced a national uproar. It found ‘no evidence that agents struck any person with horse reins’
It found there ‘were failures at multiple levels of the agency, a lack of appropriate policies and training, and unprofessional and dangerous behavior by several individual Agents,’ but found ‘no evidence that agents struck any person with horse reins.’
The bipartisan announcement came on a day when Sinema announced she would move ‘forward’ with her party on reconcilation legislation, where Democrats needs support of all 50 of their members.
It also comes as Kelly, who is up for reelection, announced that he pressed DHS to complete a section of border wall at the Yuma sector, the Washington Examiner reported.
He said he was glad DHS ‘is going to close these gaps.’
Lankford ripped President Biden in his quotation in the joint bipartisan statement and accused him of encouraging illegal crossings.
‘Biden continues to encourage illegal border crossers to enter the US, and our Border Patrol stand between US citizens and people from 150 countries coming into our nation, potentially connected to the Mexican cartels or terrorist organizations worldwide,’ he said. ‘I’ve heard from Border Patrol directly that morale is low because their hands are tied when trying to enforce the law, which makes it difficult to recruit and retain the best and brightest. We must ensure the Border Patrol has the people and tools they need to do their job and the incentives to bring in the best people. Our national security depends on it,’ he said.