Top Democrat admits his party doesn’t ‘get’ the border: Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly says his own party ‘didn’t even come close’ to understanding the immigration crisis, admits MORE security is needed

  • Senator Mark Kelly expressed his frustration with his fellow Democrats in a new interview
  • He won re-election as a senator from Arizona, a border state, this month.
  • He was asked if other Democrats understood voters’ concerns about the border.
  • ‘Absolutely not. Not even close,’ he told the Washington Post.
  • This year brought a record number of illegal border crossings
  • Republicans have seized on the issue to accuse Biden of being soft on security.

Mark Kelly, re-elected this month as a Democratic senator from Arizona, offered a damning indictment of his party’s understanding of border issues in a new interview, saying his colleagues simply didn’t understand the problem.

Kelly won a bitter midterm battle with Trump-backed Republican Blake Masters, who engaged in a closer race than many expected by focusing on voter anger over illegal immigration.

In an interview published Monday, he expressed exasperation when asked if his fellow Democrats knew how to handle the border issue.

‘Absolutely not. Not even close,” he told the Washington Post.

‘When I first came to Washington, it didn’t take me long to realize that there are a lot of Democrats who don’t understand our southern border and a lot of Republicans who just want to talk about it. I don’t necessarily want to do anything about it, I just want to use it politically.

Sen. Mark Kelly expressed exasperation when asked if his fellow Democrats knew how to handle the border issue. ‘Absolutely not. Not even close,’ he told the Washington Post.

Last year saw an increase in the number of migrants who crossed the southern border illegally. Here Venezuelan asylum-seeking migrants cross the Rio Grande to turn themselves in to US Border Patrol agents in El Paso, Texas.

Immigration was one of the key issues in the midterms, as Kelly’s Republican challenger, Blake Masters, tried to portray Kelly as soft on border security.

Kelly, a former astronaut, moved to the right of many in his party as he listened to the concerns of voters in a state on the front lines of the border issue.

“So my approach has been, to the extent that we could and can, move forward to secure it, but also to do it in a way that is in line with our ethics and our values, not to demonize people,” he continued.

“And I keep talking to my fellow Republicans about how we need to do more.

‘We have to do more on border security. We have to do more on comprehensive immigration reform, especially the “dreamers,” but also these visa programs.’

The Biden administration has presided over an increase in crossings.

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And Republicans have wasted no time in capitalizing on the issue, accusing Democrats of turning a blind eye or failing to understand the gravity of the problem.

Republican governors have bused or flown immigrants to Democratic-led cities to highlight the crisis facing border states.

In total, there were 227,547 encounters along the southwest land border in September, an increase of 12 percent compared to August, ending the fiscal year at its highest point.

It means that for the fiscal year ending September 30 there were a total of 2,378,944 encounters, the highest level ever recorded by the department.

The latest numbers show the magnitude of the problem.

Border crossings reached 2.76 million in fiscal year 2022, breaking the previous record, according to Customs and Border Patrol.

Republicans have kept up a steady stream of attacks on President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, accusing them of taking a soft approach.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy was expected to visit El Paso on Tuesday to highlight the issue.

He was due to Receive information from Border Patrol leaders.

The White House dismissed the visit as nothing more than a stunt.

McCarthy has no plan. The Republican Party has no plan. They do nothing but political tricks,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

“He goes in there and does a political stunt, like a lot of Republicans do, which we’ve seen them do, but he’s not really putting forth a plan.”

McCarthy has no plan. The Republican Party has no plan. They don’t do anything except political tricks,” Jean-Pierre told reporters about the GOP-led trip at a news conference.

Jean-Pierre said that Biden had presented a comprehensive immigration plan on his “first day” in the White House.