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Sinema secures billions in additional border spending

US Border Patrol/Lisa Sturgis, KAWC

Senator Kyrsten Sinema has successfully introduced an amendment to the federal budget bill that will boost federal spending on the border by billions in 2023.

Senator Sinema addressed her colleagues this morning in a fiery speech that appealed for immediate action for Arizona's border communities.

“I’ve made clear, the border is in crisis and Arizona is facing a security and humanitarian crisis. Enough is enough - stop using the border as a political tool. We are here to do our job. We must fund the government and we must solve our border crisis," she said.

The senator’s amendment details dozens of spending priorities, including hiring more immigration court judges, adding two joint processing centers, and building both temporary and permanent detention facilities.

It also increases overtime pay for Border Patrol officers and allocates the money to fill gaps with permanent border fencing.

Here's a full list of the additional funding included in the amendment:

Operation and Support: $15.6 billion for operation and support for CBP.

Border Management: $1.56 billion for CBP border management, including for soft-sided facilities with wrap-around services, medical capabilities, child caregivers, overtime and temporary duty, DHS volunteer force, transportation, operational costs, flight hours, law enforcement personnel, and general contract support for processing. $339.7 million for ICE border management requirements, including $74.98 million in third-party medical costs related to migrants in CBP custody.

Support for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): $800 million for the CBP Shelter and Services Program, proving funding for NGOs and local governments that were previously under the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) – avoiding any interruptions during the transition from EFSP to the new Shelter and Services Program.

Border Security Technologies: $230.28 million for border security technologies.

CBP Facilities and Construction: $99.9 million for CBP facilities construction and improvements.

Roads Infrastructure: $5 million for maintenance of tribal roads used by the U.S. Border Patrol.

Senator Sinema had hoped to include an extension of Title 42 in her amendment, but that element did not gain approval. The senator says she will continue to seek bipartisan solutions to the border crisis.