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Border crisis: Senators renew call for immigration reform

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WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — A bipartisan group of senators led by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) continues a tour of the southern border Tuesday, expected to meet with National Guard members and Border Patrol agents in Arizona.

The goal of the tour was to get the ball rolling once again on possible immigration legislation.

The tour began on Monday in El Paso — less than 24 hours after President Joe Biden’s visit to the border — where the group toured the city’s temporary Emergency Operations Facility, located in a recently closed middle school. They met with city leaders as well as nonprofits and business owners impacted by the surge of migrants.

Made up of four Republicans, three Democrats and an Independent, the tour has shown the push by all parties to produce an effective plan to combat the current border crisis.

“That’s exactly what this is. It’s a repeated failure by administration after administration to manage this crisis,” Sinema said.

Past efforts to address immigration in Congress met significant roadblocks, but during this trip, Sinema said a past plan she worked on with Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) last year could serve as a framework.

The bill would provide tens of billions of dollars for border security and asylum processing while also granting a path to citizenship for two million Dreamers.

“Our system is broken,” Cornyn said, “and it’s our responsibility even in this polarized political environment to try and come up with solutions. We’re here to listen and learn from you.”

Sinema’s previous plan never made it to the floor of the Senate. It can be tough passing any legislation in Washington, but this group of senators hopes that bringing back personal stories and experiences from the border may help push legislation over the finish line. 

In order for any immigration plan to pass, it will need support from both parties, especially with the Senate and House split.

However, the House may want to see even more funding for border security.

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