KEY POINTS

  • Activists confronted Sinema at Washington's Regan National Airport while she was on the phone 
  • A DACA recipient asked her in the airplane about committing to a pathway to citizenship
  • Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin have opposed progressives' $3.5 trillion spending package

Immigration activists confronted Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., once again Monday — this time at the Regan National Airport in Washington, D.C., and while she was on a plane. The activists, angry at the centrist Senator's refusal to agree to the $3.5 trillion price tag for President Biden's "Build Back Better" plan, which is a legislative priority for the Left in the Democratic party, had earlier confronted her at the Arizona State University on Sunday and even filmed the encounter in violation of local laws.

In a video that was shared widely on Twitter on Monday, Green New Deal Network chief of staff Kunoor Ojha and a few others could be seen approaching the Arizona senator at the Ac as she walked with security. “I want to ask if you can explain to the American people what you’re planning on cutting from Joe Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ plan? Do you want to cut climate priorities? Is it elder care that you want to cut, or is it child care?” Ojha asked. Sinema was seen trying to have a phone conversation during the exchange.

Another person could be heard speaking to Sinema in the background. “Please we are asking for your help. Senator, we need you,” the unidentified female can be heard saying. One other female voice can be heard asking questions but background noise made the questions indiscernible.

On the plane, a Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, identified only as Karina, approached Synema to ask if she would commit to a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, a part of Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda. “I just wanna know if you can commit, as my senator, if you can commit to passing a reconciliation that could provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants,” Karina asked.

Sinema did not respond to Karina, or to Ojha’s questioning.

On Sunday, a video of Sinema being confronted by a group of young activists if she would support Biden’s agenda made rounds online. She was first approached by the group as she walked out of a classroom at the Arizona State University where she teaches. She was then followed into a bathroom where she locked herself in one of the booths. A female activist could be heard in the background warning that they can vote her out of the Senate “if you don’t support what you promised us.” Arizona law prohibits filming or photographing an individual over their personal privacy rights.

In response to the confrontation at the University, Sinema said Monday in a statement that “yesterday’s behavior was not legitimate protest,” adding it was “unacceptable for activist organizations to instruct their members to jeopardize themselves by engaging in unlawful activities such as gaining entry to closed university buildings.” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., also said he supports peaceful protests but following Sinema into the bathroom and filming her was “over the line,” The Hill reported.

Sinema, along with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has expressed resistance to the $3.5 trillion spending package that includes Biden’s domestic social spending plans. Sinema has yet to point out publicly which policies on the bill she would support, while Manchin has said he might support the package if its sticker price is reduced to $1.5 trillion. Sinema’s office said Monday that the senator continues to “engage directly” with Biden and Schumer in a bid to “find common ground” in voting for the package.

Kyrsten Sinema leaves the US Capitol following a vote in May Kyrsten Sinema leaves the US Capitol following a vote in May Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / CHIP SOMODEVILLA