U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., delivers her signatures to Arizona Director of Elections Eric Spencer at the Arizona Secretary of State’s office Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at the Capitol in Phoenix. Sinema is officially running as a Democrat for U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. Women running for office have crossed another threshold with a record number of candidates for the U.S. Senate. Actually winning those seats and changing the face of the chamber are a different matter. Many of the women jumping into Senate races face uphill campaigns. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Krysten Sinema is an interesting case study in politics.

She rose to notoriety after beating Martha McSally, who’s campaign strategy in 2018 (and for 2020) appeared to be simply existing. During the campaign, numerous older videos showed Sinema trashing conservative Arizonians and presenting herself as a stalwart progressive. Sinema’s argument essentially boiled down to “I’ve changed.”

Maybe she was telling the truth?

Sinema has been one of the only Democrats to vote on Trump’s judicial nominees fairly, bucking her party to confirm many of them. She’s led work to help veterans and she shunned Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “wear all white” stunt at the State of the Union.

Now, she’s helping lead the fight for asylum reform, something the rest of her party scoffs at.

“This pilot program would apply to families who aren’t claiming ‘credible fear,’ which of course is the first threshold in seeking asylum,” Sinema told The Arizona Republic.“If someone says ‘I left my country because I can’t make a living,’ (or) ‘it’s hard to take care of my family’ — that’s what we call an economic migrant.”

If implemented, the pilot program, dubbed “Operation Safe Return,” would speed up the vetting process, giving Border Patrol 15 days to make a determination about a person’s asylum claim.

Agents would interview the asylum seeker to determine if the person truly is afraid of returning to his or her home country. Border Patrol would have three days to make the determination. If the illegal alien doesn’t have justifiable fear then they’d be immediately deported.

The above is called common sense. If Border Patrol were allowed to adjudicate asylum claims in just 15 days, it would completely solve the border crisis. The Flores Agreement would be rendered moot because it only applies after 20 days, the overcrowding would cease, and we’d be able to quickly deport people who clearly have no legal right to claim asylum.

Calling Sinema the most conservative Senator in AZ over the past decade is mostly tongue in cheek, but only mostly. Where’s Martha McSally? Why is she not leading this effort? The only time we’ve been given proof of life on her is when she came out to condemn Trump over some forgettable comment months ago (so forgettable I can’t recall what it was). McSally is currently bottoming out in fundraising and looks to lose two different Senate seats in as many years. I have nothing bad to say about her as a person, but as a campaigner, she’s been really bad.

Also, is anyone missing Jeff Flake about now? Would he have had the guts to back something like this? I highly doubt it. I’m not even sure John McCain would have supported such a hard line on asylum reform.

Maybe Sinema’s change is all about just making sure she can win re-election? That’s fine by me. Whatever it takes.

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