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Greg Stanton and Juan Ciscomani lead bipartisan border trip

Stanton and Ciscomani lead bipartisan border trip

Reps. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) and Juan Ciscomani (R-Ariz.) are leading a rare bipartisan trip to the U.S.-Mexico border today in search of solutions to the bitterly divisive issues of border security and immigration.

The lawmakers are spearheading a two-day tour across their state and northern Mexico, seeking to put Arizona at the center of the national conversation about the border. The Bipartisan Policy Center is facilitating the trip.

“The people that are on this trip are serious people, serious policymakers,” Stanton told us. “They’re not the type who are going to run to try and score short-term political points at the expense of doing the right thing.”

Stanton and Ciscomani will be joined by Reps. Nikki Budzinski (D-Ill.), Eric Sorensen (D-Ill.), Nick LaLota (R-N.Y.) and Young Kim (R-Calif.). The lawmakers will meet with local civic and business leaders, plus border patrol officials.

The crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border is one of the most polarizing issues in Congress, making it nearly impossible to pass any kind of comprehensive measure.

Speaker Mike Johnson and former President Donald Trump helped torpedo the bipartisan Senate border deal earlier this year. House conservatives continue to demand hardline immigration policies that no Democrats will go for.

Meanwhile, Democrats have their own political problems when it comes to the border crisis. A number of vulnerable Democrats have called on the Biden administration to do more to tackle the flow of illegal migrant crossings while also speeding up deportation efforts.

Ciscomani said he’s disappointed that the border continues to be a political football between both parties.

“It keeps going back and forth with no real solutions,” Ciscomani told us. “Both sides have accused each other of wanting something different and when either side doesn’t get everything they want, they just pick up their ball and go home.”

The lawmakers hope to use lessons from the trip to help forge consensus on the border and immigration.

Stanton chairs the New Democrat Coalition’s Immigration and Border Security Task Force, while Ciscomani is a member of the Western Caucus, Main Street Caucus and the Problem Solvers Caucus.

Ciscomani said his goal is to get members in a better position to negotiate on this issue on Capitol Hill.

“All the major things we’ve been able to do have been done on a bipartisan basis,” Ciscomani said. “That precedent is being set in this Congress, and that gives some light to all this.”

– Mica Soellner

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