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Arizona Democrat Criticizes Biden for Ignoring ‘Immediate Crisis at the Border’ in Speech

Senator Mark Kelly (D., Ariz.) arrives before the start of opening arguments in the impeachment trial of then-President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., February 10, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Freshman Senate Democrat Mark Kelly criticized President Biden for failing to articulate how the White House will “address the immediate crisis at the border” during his address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night.

“While I share President Biden’s urgency in fixing our broken immigration system, what I didn’t hear tonight was a plan to address the immediate crisis at the border,” Kelly said in a press release following Biden’s 67-minute address.

During the speech, Biden did not mention the situation at the southern border — which has seen a record surge in illegal crossings, according to March data from Customs and Border Protection. Border Patrol apprehended 172,331 migrants last month, 48,587 of the whom were unaccompanied migrant children. Biden did call on Congress “to pass legislation this year to finally secure protection for the Dreamers, saying that “the country supports immigration reform.”

“I will continue holding this administration accountable to deliver the resources and staffing necessary for a humane, orderly process as we work to improve border security, support local economies, and fix our immigration system.” Kelly continued. He also praised Biden for calling on “Republicans and Democrats to continue working together on investments in education, infrastructure, and technology like increasing domestic manufacturing of semiconductors to maintain our competitive edge over China and create the jobs of the future in Arizona.”

Last week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, declared a state of emergency at the state’s southwest border, calling it “overwhelmed.”

“Citizens and our border communities are concerned for their safety and nonprofits, left to pick up the pieces of broken federal policies, are strained,” Ducey said. Arizona is the first state to declare an emergency due to the border situation.

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