Sen. Kennedy Suggests Ulterior Motive Behind Border Crisis While Questioning Mayorkas

Illegal immigrants affect electoral college votes and congressional district reapportionment, the senator charged.
Sen. Kennedy Suggests Ulterior Motive Behind Border Crisis While Questioning Mayorkas
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 29, 2023. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Samantha Flom

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) suggested on April 10 that the Biden administration is facilitating illegal immigration to help Democrats politically.

The senator’s remarks came amid his questioning of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.

Mr. Kennedy, noting the “bleeding” southern border, suggested that the secretary’s border policies had an ulterior political motive.

“Isn’t in fact, Mr. Secretary, that the number of illegal immigrants that you and the president allow into our country counts for congressional district reapportionment?” he asked.

“Senator, I’m not sure I understand your question, but I can surely share with you that I disagree with its phrasing,” Mr. Mayorkas replied.

The senator continued: “Isn’t it true, Mr. Secretary, that the number of illegal immigrants that you and President Biden have allowed into our country counts for allocating electoral votes?”

Mr. Mayorkas repeated that he didn’t understand the question. He then called the senator’s insinuation “nothing short of preposterous” and “disrespectful” to administration and Department of Homeland Security personnel.

Mr. Kennedy, however, charged that the secretary was well aware of the political ramifications of the border crisis, unintended or otherwise.

“And you’ve done nothing for four years—zero, absolutely zilch. And, in fact, the only people I know in this country who are better off today than they were four years ago are illegal immigrants. And that’s a result of your policy.”

Mr. Mayorkas became only the second presidential cabinet member ever to be impeached in U.S. history on Feb. 13. The charges against him included “willfully and systematically” refusing to enforce existing immigration laws and breach of public trust. The 214–213 vote split along party lines, with all but three Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against.

Initially, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) planned to send the impeachment articles to the Senate on the day of the hearing. But on April 9, he announced that he would delay the move until next week as Republicans fight for a full trial.

The Democrat-controlled Senate is expected to table the trial, though Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the chamber’s majority leader, has yet to announce his plans. A conviction would require a two-thirds majority vote.

Democrats have said the charges against Mr. Mayorkas fail to meet the constitutional threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But Senate Republicans say Democrats fear the political consequences of a trial.

“This issue is so toxic to Senate Democrats, to House Democrats, and to Joe Biden that they do not want this to be the issue of the day,” Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) said at an April 9 press conference.

Mr. Kennedy, during the hearing, said that he also expects his Democrat colleagues to dismiss the impeachment “and violate 200 years of Senate precedent in doing it.” He added, however, that the border crisis was likely to remain at the forefront regardless.

“I don’t think that they will be able to sweep the issue—maybe your impeachment, but not the issue—under a rug as big as the United States of America,” he told the secretary.

Mark Tapscott, Joseph Lord, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Samantha Flom is a reporter for The Epoch Times covering U.S. politics and news. A graduate of Syracuse University, she has a background in journalism and nonprofit communications. Contact her at [email protected].
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