The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has responded to a Republican congressman’s efforts to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, stating that Congress “can do better.”
“Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of this department, support its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American people,” a DHS spokesperson told The Epoch Times on Jan. 11 in an emailed statement.
“The department will continue our work to enforce our laws and secure our border, while building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system,” the spokesperson continued. “Members of Congress can do better than point the finger at someone else; they should come to the table and work on solutions for our broken system and outdated laws, which they have not updated in over 40 years.”
On Monday, Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) introduced three articles of impeachment (pdf) against Mayorkas, charging that the DHS chief had committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” and violated his constitutional oath of office.
Commenting on the matter Wednesday, Fallon noted in a tweet: “In his conduct while Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, in violation of his constitutional oath, engaged in a pattern of conduct that is incompatible with his duties as an Officer of the United States. He must go.”
DHS, however, confirmed that Mayorkas has no plans to resign and asserted that the charges against him were not only factually inaccurate but also failed to meet the constitutional standard of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Specifically, the first impeachment article accuses Mayorkas of failing to “maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States” as outlined by the Secure the Fence Act of 2006.
“Over 5,500,000 illegal aliens have crossed our southern border under the leadership of Secretary Mayorkas,” the resolution notes. “There have now been 20 straight months with over 150,000 illegal border crossings. Secretary Mayorkas has presided over a 180-percent increase in encounters at the southern border compared to the previous administration.”
Attributing that increase to Mayorkas’s policies, the resolution asserts that the official has encouraged illegal immigration by terminating border wall construction contracts, ending the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy, and attempting to end the Title 42 policy that has allowed for the quick expulsion of illegal immigrants since the start of the COVID pandemic.
The second impeachment article alleges that Mayorkas “willfully provided perjurious, false, and misleading testimony” when he testified twice before Congress last year on April 28 and Nov. 15, that the government had operational control of the border and that the border was secure.
Meanwhile, the third article alleges that Mayorkas “knowingly slandered” Border Patrol agents and misled the public by supporting claims that Border Patrol agents used whips on illegal immigrants “even after he had been alerted by subordinates the narrative was false.”
Republicans on Offense
In recent months, Republicans have repeatedly called for Mayorkas’s removal from office—a call Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pledged to answer in November when it became clear that Republicans would retake control of the House.
“He cannot and must not remain in that position,” McCarthy said of Mayorkas on Nov. 22 while visiting the southern border. “If he does not resign, House Republicans will investigate every order, every action, and every failure to determine whether we should begin an impeachment inquiry.”
The then-minority leader added: “If Secretary Mayorkas was in charge of a private company, he would have been fired by now. The American public deserves more and expects better. Enough is enough.”
Shortly after McCarthy was elected Speaker of the House and other members of Congress were sworn in on Friday, Fallon vowed to make good on McCarthy’s promise by filing articles of impeachment against Mayorkas.
Before they were filed on Monday, however, Mayorkas responded to the news Sunday in an interview with ABC News.
“I’ve got a lot of work to do, and we’re going to do it,” he said, noting that he had no intention of resigning.
“We are dealing within a broken immigration system that Congress has failed to repair for decades,” he added. “And there is unanimity with respect to that reality.”
On Wednesday, DHS echoed that sentiment, noting, “After inheriting a broken and dismantled immigration system, the Biden-Harris Administration has managed an unprecedented number of noncitizens seeking to enter the United States, interdicted more drugs, and disrupted more smuggling operations than ever before, all while reversing the cruel and harmful policies of the prior Administration.”
DHS also held that the uptick in immigration was a “hemispheric challenge,” as opposed to an American one, driven by individuals seeking refuge from repressive governments and lack of economic opportunity.
Last week, President Joe Biden announced new measures aimed at securing the border and slowing the flow of illegal immigration, including turning away Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans who arrive illegally at the border, and rejecting illegal aliens who do not seek asylum first in a country they traveled through en route to the United States. At the same time, up to 30,000 people per month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Venezuela who arrive in the country legally, will be allowed to come to the United States for two years and be allowed to work, provided they have a sponsor and pass background checks.
The policy announcement came days ahead of Biden’s first trip to the border, when he visited El Paso, Texas, on Sunday.
As of yet, it remains unclear if or when the House will consider Fallon’s resolution. However, should the DHS chief be formally impeached by the House, it is unlikely that the Democrat-controlled Senate would vote to convict him, which requires a two-thirds vote.