The Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security is violating U.S. immigration law, border security and immigration experts say.
“The U.S. Constitution requires the administration to ‘take care that the immigration and border security laws be faithfully executed.’ It is clear to me, and to millions of Americans, that the Biden administration has failed to do so,” Chad Wolf, former acting homeland security secretary, testified Wednesday at a House subcommittee hearing.
“In all candor, the Biden administration is the first administration, of either political party, to deliberately take steps to diminish the security along our southern border,” Wolf said, adding that in his opinion, “new leadership is needed” at the Department of Homeland Security.
During the hearing by the House Judiciary immigration subcommittee, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., questioned Wolf and two other witnesses on DHS’ handling of America’s borders and whether Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, appointed by President Joe Biden, had violated the law.
Directing his questions to Steven Bradbury, a distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation, Biggs asked in rapid-fire fashion whether Mayorkas had violated federal laws governing immigration and border security. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
“Mr. Bradbury, at the direction of Secretary Mayorkas, DHS released and continues to release tens of thousands of aliens every month into the U.S. through mass parole, and now categorical parole,” Biggs said, before asking, “Is this a violation of law?”
“Yes, it violates INA Section 212(d)(5)(a),” Bradbury said, referring to the Immigration and Nationality Act.
“Secretary Mayorkas is also mass-paroling aliens he himself characterizes as refugees or asylum-seekers without demonstrating that there are compelling reasons requiring that that particular alien may be admitted by parole rather than going through the USRAP [United States Refugee Admissions Program] process for refugee admissions. Is that a violation of law?” Biggs asked Bradbury.
“Yes, it’s a violation of Section 212(d)(5)(b),” Bradbury replied.
Biggs continued, questioning Bradbury on Mayorkas’ failure to vet illegal aliens being paroled into the U.S. and the Biden administration’s use of the CBP One app to “funnel these illegal migrants to the U.S. ports of entry along our southern border.”
With each question, Bradbury answered in the affirmative that Mayorkas had violated the law.
Biggs then returned to question Wolf, asking whether Mayorkas “is violating the law intentionally, willfully, or is it just some oversight on his part?”
“So, I’m going to have to guess,” Wolf said. “I think it’s all of the above. I think they know exactly what they are doing [in DHS].”
Biggs asked the same question of Joseph Edlow, former acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is part of DHS.
“Do you believe that what he’s doing is intentional [and] willful, or is it just, he’s just an incompetent buffoon and can’t learn his lessons?” Biggs asked Edlow.
“I don’t think he’s incompetent, Congressman,” Edlow answered. “Looking at the memos, looking at the departmental actions, the regulatory actions—this is all part and parcel of an intentional action.”
Biggs agreed, adding that it is “long past time” for Mayorkas “to be impeached.”
Biggs didn’t ask any questions of the fourth witness, Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy director at the American Immigration Council, a nonprofit advocacy group formed in 1987 by immigration lawyers.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., dismissed Republicans’ calls to impeach Mayorkas as “ridiculous” during her opening statement.
“You do not impeach a Cabinet secretary over policy disagreements,” Jayapal said. “The border is not ‘open.’ No administration has ever had complete ‘operational control’ of the border, detained every asylum-seeker, or not used parole in some form.”
Mayorkas became DHS secretary about two weeks after Biden was sworn in as president. Under his leadership, critics note, over 6 million illegal aliens have been encountered on America’s borders. Since fiscal year 2023 began in Oct. 1, a record 1.8 illegal aliens have been encountered.
In April 2022, while testifying at a House hearing, 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 definition of operational control isn’t subjective. 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.”
Biggs first introduced articles of impeachment against Mayorkas in August 2021, when he was chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. In February, 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.”
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