Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has been “derelict in his duty,” according to Republicans and border experts.
“The mountain of evidence this committee has gathered proves that Alejandro Mayorkas has been derelict in his duty as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security,” Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., said during a hearing Wednesday.
“Secretary Mayorkas has intentionally undermined America’s immigration laws and meaningful border security enforcement, and in its place implemented an extreme agenda of open borders,” Green, who serves as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said.
During the committee hearing titled “Open Borders, Closed Case: Secretary Mayorkas’ Dereliction of Duty on the Border Crisis,” GOP members and witnesses presented arguments against Mayorkas, claiming he has failed to uphold the law and fulfill his duty to secure the nation’s border.
Mayorkas has “violated laws passed by this Congress,” Green alleged.
“The evidence shows that Mayorkas has repeatedly violated the law that prohibits mass parole of aliens into the country,” the congressman said. “The statute makes clear, parole is only to be granted on a case-by-case and temporary basis for an urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit. Instead, Mayorkas has done the opposite, directing and overseeing a release of hundreds of thousands of aliens via mass parole in just two years through various programs, including more recently, his CBP One app.”
The Biden administration is encouraging migrants to schedule an appointment to claim asylum at a port of entry using the CBP One application. DHS says it is now scheduling up to 1,250 appointments a day.
Case Against Mayorkas
According to Chad Wolf, former acting secretary of DHS, the Biden administration’s use of the CBP One app is part of a “concerted effort to facilitate illegal aliens into the country.”
In his submitted written testimony to Congress, Wolf said the “Biden administration is the first administration of either political party to actively take steps to diminish the security along our southern border.”
The Biden administration “dismantled” the border security policies put in place by the Trump administration, according to Wolf, such as ending the “Remain in Mexico” policy that required migrants to wait across the border until their asylum claims can be heard. Instead, the Biden administration has “intentionally decided to ignore its legal mandate to detain illegal aliens or make them wait in Mexico throughout their immigration court proceedings,” Wolf said.
Furthermore, on “Day One, the Biden administration issued a 100-day deportation freeze for all illegal aliens, including those with criminal convictions,” Wolf wrote in his testimony.
President Joe Biden and Mayorkas are, according to Wolf, responsible for “releasing illegal aliens on an honor system to self-report to [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] field offices, exempting 99% of illegal aliens from deportation, the lowest level of ICE detention capacity, [and the] lowest deportations in modern history … ”
“It is my professional opinion that this administration is derelict in its duty to faithfully to execute the laws as written and protect American communities,” Wolf said.
Joe Edlow, former acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services at DHS, also said during his testimony that the Biden administration has displayed a “dereliction of duty” to enforce border and immigration law, a sentiment Rodney Scott, former chief of Border Patrol, also echoed in his testimony before the committee.
Since the start of the Biden administration, Customs and Border Protection reports encountering more than 5.5 million illegal aliens at the southern border. Since fiscal year 2023 began on Oct. 1, CBP has encountered more than 1.4 million illegal aliens, about triple the number encountered at the southern border during fiscal year 2020.
‘Political Theater,’ According to Democrats
The Democratic members of the Homeland Security Committee accused Republicans of engaging in political theater.
“You don’t have to look further than the title to know that the hearing is a sham,” Mississippi Democrat and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson said. “Calling a hearing and saying ‘case closed,’” he said, referring to the title of Wednesday’s hearing, “before you’ve heard any testimony is not a legitimate oversight.”
Thompson argued that “Secretary Mayorkas is fulfilling his duty under the law and to the American people,” adding that if “the Republican majority doesn’t like what he’s doing, they should work with Democrats to pass bipartisan border security and immigration reform legislation. Apparently, they prefer a political theater.”
Rhode Island Democrat Rep. Seth Magaziner said the “only dereliction of duty here is House Republicans wasting time on political games, instead of focusing on the real problems that we need to tackle to protect the homeland.”
‘Just the Beginning’
“Oversighting this crisis is our duty,” Green said as the hearing came to a close.
“This is just the beginning of a lot of hearings fulfilling that duty for oversight,” Green said. “We will get to the bottom of what’s going on at our southern border.”
Shortly before the start of the hearing, Green and several other GOP members held a press conference announcing a preliminary report detailing why “an oversight investigation into the conduct of DHS Secretary Mayorkas is necessary.”
The 55-page report details many of the points raised during the hearing, including Mayorkas’ reimplementation of “catch and release” and “abuse” of the CBP One app.
The GOP House Homeland Security Committee “investigation is focused on determining whether Mayorkas has violated his oath, failed to carry out his constitutional obligations to the homeland, and been derelict in his duty, and thus deserving of greater accountability,” the report states. “The American people deserve the answers to these questions, and through this investigation, Congress will provide them.”
Mayorkas is expected to testify before the House Judiciary Committee the last week of July.
Articles of Impeachment
Wednesday’s hearing comes one week after Homeland Security Committee member Clay Higgins, R-La., introduced articles of impeachment against Mayorkas.
“The Founders intended that impeachment of a senior executive should require clear evidence of intentional, repeated unconstitutional or illegal actions that bring measurable injury to our Republic,” Higgins said in a statement announcing his decision to file articles of impeachment against Mayorkas. “Secretary Mayorkas has long ago crossed that threshold. His arrogant disregard for the security and sanctity of the American people has been shocking to behold.”
But Higgins is not the first Republican to file articles of impeachment against Mayorkas.
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., 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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