Democratic Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly join bipartisan legislative effort to give agents 14% raise

Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, both Democrats from Arizona, have joined a bipartisan push to pass legislation creating a reserve Border Patrol and raising agent pay by 14%.

Along with Republican Senators Rob Portman and James Lankford, the politicians are spearheading the attempt to strengthen the agency, which has been put under strain by the increase of border crossings.

To defend the border, safeguard our communities, and guarantee the fair and humanitarian treatment of migrants, Border Patrol must maintain a robust staff.

Our bipartisan measure addresses these challenges to effectively support Border Patrol as they defend Arizona communities,’ Sinema said in a statement on Thursday. “Border Patrol does not have the staffing or resources to fulfill that goal.”

The bill’s backers claim that it would add 2,500 reserve agents, bringing the total number of U.S. Border Patrol agents to 20,500.

Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat from Arizona, joined a bipartisan initiative to increase the pay of US Border Patrol agents.

The wage increase would make salaries “comparable” with those at other Department of Homeland Security agencies while also standardizing training. It is significantly above inflation.

During heated party debates over immigration, the agency has occasionally come under criticism.

Following the purported “horse whipping” event in Del Rio, Texas, which caused a nationwide controversy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the conclusions of its Professional Responsibility investigation last month.

To defend the border, safeguard our communities, and guarantee the fair and humanitarian treatment of migrants, Border Patrol must maintain a robust staff. Our bipartisan measure addresses these challenges to effectively support Border Patrol as they defend Arizona communities,’ Sinema said in a statement on Thursday. “Border Patrol does not have the staffing or resources to fulfill that goal.”