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Sen. McSally talks immigration, gun control reform after Yuma border tour

Martha McSally
Posted at 7:23 PM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 22:55:33-04

YUMA, Ariz. — Senator Martha McSally was in Yuma on Thursday, marking her second trip this year to address border security.

Yuma has been under a state of emergency since April, after seeing a huge influx of migrants at the border.

Sen. McSally met with the Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan and toured the new soft facility at the Yuma Border Patrol Processing Center.

KGUN9 caught up with McSally after the tour. She talked about legislation she helped introduce, the Seure and Protect Act of 2019. She calls it a solution to gaining control of our borders, that addresses the root cause that attracts people to crossing in the first place.

The Secure and Protect Act passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

McSally says the new facility in Yuma is also going to help deal with the crisis at the border, by housing migrants who cross and are detained.

She emphasized that the people housed in these facilities must be treated humanely and with respect, even the ones who cross illegally.

But she says the new facility is not the end-all fix.

"Why don’t we sit down and at least provide the funding for housing," McSally said. "Especially when they are transferred out of facilities like this, into other ICE facilities that actually people can be housed in humane conditions, while their cases are processed -- they have due process. And then if they don’t have a legitimate case, they’re sent home."

KGUN9 also asked McSally about gun reform control in the wake of recent deadly mass shootings.

She said the loopholes in gun laws must be closed, but the point the Senator emphasized was mental health.

McSally said it comes down to identifying people with mental health issues early on, and giving them the care and support they need. President Trump made similar sentiments, linking mental health and gun violence.

McSally also said lawmakers are taking a look at additional legislation at the federal level, but that it needs to also happen at the state level.

"When you see something, say something," McSally said. "When you see individuals who had concerns about that somebody had been violent, or tendencies towards violence, don’t just walk by that problem. Do what you can in order to provide assistance, so that we could stop these tragedies from happening."

The Senator called these mass shootings a "problem" and that they have become politicized.

Before she left Yuma, McSally said she would be happy to return to Washington, D.C. and come up with some sort of bipartisan legislation to solve these "problems" of mass shootings. But what exactly that means -- whether it's universal background checks, or something else -- she did not say.