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Sen. Sinema, DHS Sec. Mayorkas clash over ending of Title 42 amid massive, ongoing border surge
Image source: CBS's "Face the Nation" YouTube channel screenshot compilation

Sen. Sinema, DHS Sec. Mayorkas clash over ending of Title 42 amid massive, ongoing border surge

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and independent Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema expressed radically different views on the ending of Title 42 on "Face the Nation" Sunday.

"Title 42 goes away on Thursday, and everyone here in Arizona knows we are not prepared. The Biden administration had two years to prepare for this and did not do so. And our state is going to bear the brunt and migrants will be in crisis as soon as next week," said Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) in an interview with moderator Margaret Brennan that aired Sunday morning.

Sinema's interview was recorded Friday at at the McCain's Institute's Sedona Forum.

"Well, I respectfully disagree with the Senator and the governor. Number one, we are prepared ... Number two, we have a migration information center that is specifically set up to communicate with state and local officials," said DHS Sec. Mayorkas in a separate interview with Brennan that also aired Sunday.

When Brennan pushed back on Mayorkas, noting Democrats control the Senate, the DHS Secretary blamed an immigration system "that hasn't been fixed since the 90s."

When Brennan pressed further, saying it seemed as if Democrats had "conceded to Republicans" on immigration, Mayorkas responded by lauding the immigration systems of Canada and Spain and saying it was "incredibly sad" the United States cannot match them.

Mayorkas told Brennan that preparation for the ending of Title 42 has been underway for a year and a half. He described its end as a "regional challenge" requiring a "regional response."

The DHS Secretary emphasized that the agency has "never been resourced appropriately."

Processing centers in Colombia and Guatemala are not set up yet, Brennan noted. Mayorkas said it "should be a matter of weeks" for the one furthest along, Colombia's, to become operational.

Mayorkas appeared to brush off statements from Sinema and Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs (D) about DHS failing to share information on numbers of migrants, processing times, bus transportation availability, and funds for emergency shelters.

Saturday, Sen. Sinema retweeted an op-ed in AZ Central saying the Biden Administration isn't doing enough to protect Arizona's border.

"The Administration should follow my and @RepCiscomani’s lead: put politics aside and secure the border," she wrote.

Title 42, a policy enacted during the Trump administration, deterred illegal immigration by expelling migrants to their home countries based on the COVID-19 risks. Title 42 ends Thursday.

Watch CBS News moderator Margaret Brennan's full interview with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas below.

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