Rep. Andy Biggs and a group of fellow Republican lawmakers say it’s time to impeach and remove Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over the crisis of illegal immigration at the southern border.
“It’s clear Secretary Mayorkas has committed high crimes and misdemeanors,” Biggs, R-Ariz., recently said in a prepared statement calling for Mayorkas’ impeachment. “His conduct is willful and intentional. He is not enforcing the law and is violating his oath of office.”
Biggs first introduced articles of impeachment against Mayorkas in August 2021, when he was chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Last week, Biggs filed new articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, saying in a press release that Mayorkas “is the chief architect of the migration and drug invasion at our southern border.”
In fiscal year 2022, which ended Sept. 30, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported a record 2.3 million land encounters with migrants at the southern border. With over 700,000 encounters between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, CBP encounters with migrants are on track to overtake the previous year’s numbers.
Biggs and several other Republican lawmakers held a mock Mayorkas impeachment Wednesday at The Heritage Foundation’s headquarters on Capitol Hill. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)
“We have a constitutional obligation to use the tools that the Founders gave us, and the tool here for an executive official that has gone off the rails is impeachment,” Biggs told The Daily Signal.
Joining Biggs at the impeachment forum were fellow Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Michael Cloud of Texas, Matt Rosendale of Montana, Matt Gaetz of Florida, and Bob Good of Virginia.
Biggs and others questioned key “witnesses” on the state of the southern border and Mayorkas’ actions.
The four expert witnesses included Mark Morgan, former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Tom Homan, former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Steve Bradbury, a distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation; and Robert Law, director of the Center for Homeland Security and Immigration at the America First Policy Institute, a research institute formed by former Trump administration officials.
Participants argued that there are many reasons why Mayorkas should be impeached, but focused on the following four reasons.
1. Mayorkas Lied Under Oath to Congress
President Joe Biden appointed Mayorkas as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, where subagencies include U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Mayorkas took office Feb 2, 2021.
In April 2022, while testifying before Congress, Mayorkas was asked by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas: “Will you testify under oath right now, do we have operational control [of the border], yes or no?”
“Yes, we do,” Mayorkas responded.
The homeland security secretary “provided false, intentionally false, and misleading testimony while under oath,” Morgan said during the forum.
Morgan pointed out that “operational control” is not an opinion, and not left to interpretation. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 defines operational control as “prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.”
But when Mayorkas testified before Congress, Morgan said, “the secretary knew that CBP had confirmed the detection of hundreds of thousands of known gotaways.”
“Gotaways” are illegal immigrants who evade Border Patrol agents rather than turn themselves in as asylum-seekers.
“Among the gotaways, Secretary Mayorkas knew there were untold numbers of criminals, including murderers, rapists, aggravated felons, gang members. The list goes on,” Morgan said. “He knew that for every pound of narcotics seized, potentially tenfold gets by us, and he knew that the moment he lied to Congress and said he has operational control of our borders.”
Customs and Border Protection reported that it seized just over 14,000 pounds of fentanyl in fiscal year 2022, which ended Sept. 30, and more than 7,000 pounds between October and the end of December.
The Center for Immigration Studies reported in April that under Biden’s presidency, more than 756,000 illegal migrants have been released into America’s interior, not including more than 146,000 children and an estimated 620,000 gotaways.
Mayorkas has “betrayed the public trust by making false statements to Congress and misleading the public about the nature and effects of his policies,” Heritage’s Bradbury said.
2. Mayorkas Intentionally Unsecured the Border
“President Biden is the first president in the history of this nation who came into office and unsecured a border, with the help of Secretary Mayorkas,” Homan said during the forum.
Homan has nearly 35 years of border security experience, having joined the Border Patrol in 1984. Every president he worked under, Homan said, took some steps to secure the border.
“Even [Bill] Clinton and [Barack] Obama took moves to secure the border because they understood you can’t have national security without border security,” Homan said.
If Biden and Mayorkas simply reimplemented President Donald Trump’s policies at the southern border, the situation at the border “would change in 24 hours,” he said.
3. Mayorkas Opened Border for Political Gain
Through his experience in Customs and Border Protection, Morgan said, he has come to believe—although he “didn’t want to believe it”—that “at the end of the day, there’s two perceivable benefits” the Biden administration sees in having an unsecure border.
“One, illegal aliens are counted [as] part of the census. So, there’s a very real, this is hyperbolic, redistricting of House seats in the favor of the Democrats,” Morgan said, adding: “No. 2 is the perceived political benefit. They do believe that every single illegal alien they give a path to citizenship is going to increase the Democrats’ vote.”
Morgan said illegal aliens want to enter the country unlawfully and be free from deportation and to be able to work, send money home, and bring other family members to America. The Biden administration, with Mayorkas in a key post, has given illegal migrants all of these things, he said.
“This is all politics,” Morgan said.
4. Mayorkas’ Policies Sparked Humanitarian Crisis
A human cost accompanies illegal immigration, and Homan took time to detail this cost during his remarks. The drug cartels are making billions smuggling migrants into America while women and children are being trafficking and sexually exploited, he said.
The Biden administration tells hopeful migrants that “you won’t be deported, you won’t be detained, you get a work authorization, you can get free health care,” Homan said.
“When the president says these things,” he added, the result is “the most vulnerable people in the world are going to put themselves in criminal cartels’ hands … and they’re going to be victimized.”
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