Three Republican state attorneys general demanded Wednesday that the House impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, calling him the “architect” of the mass migration crisis along the southern border.
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, Oklahoma AG Gentner Drummond and Missouri’s Andrew Bailey told members of the House Homeland Security Committee that Mayorkas had failed to enforce the nation’s immigration laws and misled Congress by insisting the White House has “operational control” of the US border.
Each witness said that as a consequence, their states had been forced to bear the cost of millions of illegal aliens coming into their jurisdictions thanks to what one referred to as “bogus” asylum claims.
The AGs also lamented spiking rates of human and drug trafficking.
“We don’t deserve to have our communities flooded with illegal drugs that were smuggled across an unsecure border. And we don’t deserve to have our loved ones ripped away by those same drugs,” Drummond said.
“There is only one reason 8 million people illegally cross a sovereign nation’s border,” Bailey added, “because they know that they can get away with it.”
“Secretary Mayorkas is the architect of that destruction the American people are watching. They know that our border was secure just a few years ago,” Knudsen told panel members.
“The most devastating impact of the open border on Montana has been the massive quantities of Mexican cartel fentanyl and methamphetamine,” the Montanan added.
“The conclusion is clear. Secretary Mayorkas has violated his oath. I urge this body to impeach.”
Republican panel members agreed that considering removing Mayorkas from office was a “solemn” affair for the House but noted that their year-long investigation had not only revealed rising crime issues but devastating costs to states and cities.
“New York City alone projects that it will have to spend $12 billion dealing with the flow of illegal aliens into the city by 2025,” Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) noted during his opening remarks.
“I wish we weren’t sitting here today. I wish these proceedings were not necessary. I wish our southwest border was secure. I wish that our government was enforcing the laws passed by the Congress and doing its job to keep the American people safe,” he added. “And unfortunately, Secretary Mayorkas has done none of these things.
“For almost a year, the House Committee on Homeland Security has conducted a comprehensive investigation into the causes, costs and consequences of the unprecedented crisis at our Southwest border,” Green went on. “Our evidence makes it clear. Secretary Mayorkas is the architect of the devastation that we have witnessed for nearly three years.”
The House has not impeached a Cabinet official since William Belknap, secretary of war under President Ulysses S. Grant, confessed to accepting kickback payments from military suppliers in March 1876. Belknap resigned shortly before the impeachment vote and was acquitted by the Senate.
Far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) introduced an impeachment resolution against Mayorkas this past November that was blocked from a full vote on the House floor by Democrats and eight GOP lawmakers, sending the matter to the Homeland Security Committee.
The Georgia congresswoman referred to the millions of migrants coming across the US border as an “ongoing invasion,” calling it “a direct national security threat” and suggesting Mayorkas had committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
At least 3.8 million people have entered the US since President Biden took office in January 2021, with 1.5 million “gotaways” evading detection by authorities, according to Syracuse University’s TRAC immigration database.
Republican committee members and witnesses — including Greene — cited a much higher figure of 8 million encounters with migrants nationwide by Border Patrol agents, CBP data show.
Under former President Donald Trump, CBP recorded roughly 3 million encounters nationwide between fiscal years 2017 and 2020.
Greene’s resolution also alleges Mayorkas has violated US citizens’ right to protection from invasion, as stated in the Constitution’s Article IV Guarantee Clause, and entirely ignored the Secure Fence Act of 2006.
But Democratic lawmakers pointed to statements from their colleagues that preceded the resolution and called for Mayorkas’ removal, and their witness, University of Missouri School of Law professor Frank Bowman, testified that Mayorkas’ conduct had not risen to the level of impeachment.
Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) also pointed out Green had promised campaign donors he would pursue Mayorkas if Republicans won a House majority in the 2022 elections.
In April 2023, Green told attendees at a House Freedom Caucus fundraiser in Tennessee that his committee was planning to deliver charges describing Mayorkas’ “dereliction of duty” to the House Judiciary Committee, the New York Times reported.
“We’re going to impeach him,” Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) also said mid-hearing.
“I have long argued the House must impeach Mayorkas, and today, the case has never been stronger,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), another panel member, said in a “Dear Colleague” letter on Wednesday.
“A series of committee hearings since my last update on the case for impeaching Mayorkas demonstrate he has clearly lied under oath regarding DHS maintaining ‘operational control’ of the southern border,” Roy wrote. “It goes without saying that lying under oath is an impeachable offense.”