(The Center Square) – The U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security is holding its second hearing next week as part of its efforts to bring impeachment proceedings against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The hearing will examine the human cost of the border crisis, and witnesses will testify as to how they’ve been impacted it.
“The human cost of Secretary Mayorkas’ failed leadership and decision-making is truly immeasurable. Due to his refusal to uphold his oath of office, tens of thousands of families have suffered the devasting loss of loved ones due to the smuggling of fentanyl across our open Southwest border, law enforcement at our borders and across the country have been completely overwhelmed, and countless Americans and migrants have lost their lives at the hands of vicious cartels and gang members,” committee chairman Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., said.
At the first hearing held this week, committee members heard from attorneys general from Montana, Oklahoma and Missouri who testified about how the border crisis was impacting their states. They also said it was Congress’ constitutional duty to impeach Mayorkas.
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen described how “Mayorkas’ failed leadership … turned the border into an effectively meaningless 2,000-mile line in the sand, ceding operational control to Mexican drug cartels – some of the most savage and depraved organizations in world history. In turn, the cartels have seized on Secretary Mayorkas’ weakness, driving addiction and death in our country, expanding their enterprises into human trafficking and smuggling, and engaging in a reign of terror in communities on both sides of the border …”
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey testified that Mayorkas had failed to secure the U.S. border when he and others in the military had secured Iraq’s border. Unlike Mayorkas, he said, “we closed the border to ensure the country was safe from those who wanted to cross the border to undermine the sovereignty and safety of the nation.”
Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond said law enforcement personnel were coming into daily contact with foreign nationals who entered our country illegally or who remain here illegally – or both. … Our law enforcement partners report that the foreign nationals most often involved in … illegal enterprises come from China and Mexico. We have identified individuals from many other countries, to include Cuba, Bulgaria and Russia.”’
The hearings follow the committee’s year-long investigation into “the causes, costs, and consequences of the unprecedented crisis at America’s borders.”
Mayorkas maintains he inherited a broken system from the Trump administration. He has called on Congress to provide more funding and argues impeachment articles are baseless . Mayorkas says he has no plans on resigning. He also has argued the border is secure and agents have operational control, claims Border Patrol chiefs have refuted.
He has been invited multiple times to appear before the committee but has not done so.
“After repeated invitations, offering Secretary Mayorkas multiple dates, the Secretary continues to refuse to appear before the Committee to testify specifically on the border crisis,” Green said. The committee’s most recent invitation was on Jan. 5 for the Jan. 18 hearing. After the committee received no communication until late on Jan. 11, the committee granted two extensions for an answer on Jan. 12. “Both [were] left unmet by the Secretary. After failing to accept our invitation or offer an alternative time to testify, the Committee is moving forward with hearing from victims of Secretary Mayorkas’ border crisis next week,” Green said.
The reason Mayorkas won’t be appearing before the committee next week is because he is hosting a delegation of Mexican officials. In response, Green said, “Yet again, this Secretary is putting the interests of Mexico ahead of the American people. Apparently, he needs to be reminded that Congress is a co-equal branch of government, and our Committee, not Mexico, has oversight over his department.”
The committee first sent a letter to Mayorkas on Aug. 16, 2023, inviting him to testify about the border crisis. On Sept. 14, DHS rejected the invitation. The committee sent a follow-up letter on Sept. 18, reiterating its request for Mayorkas to appear before the Committee and to reply by a specific deadline. Several days after the requested deadline, DHS declined the invitation, stating DHS had “limited capacity” to respond to a hearing request.
Three articles of impeachment have been filed against Mayorkas claiming he is derelict in duty, is violating laws established by Congress, and his actions are creating a national security threat.
The hearings and plan to impeach Mayorkas come after more than 10 million illegal border crossers entered the U.S. since January 2021 under his watch, The Center Square first reported.
The hearing will be held at 9:30 am ET Thursday.