Opinion Pieces

Secretary Mayorkas has failed to defend our homeland and must be impeached

Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas has made America more dangerous and failed to fulfill his oath of office

As originally published by Fox News on July 7, 2022.

 By Rep. Jim Banks , Rep. Brian Babin

In April of this year, we wrote to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, warning that if he doesn’t immediately reverse course, House Republicans will be forced to hold him accountable for creating and perpetuating the worst humanitarian crisis in modern American history. 

Since we sent that letter, the crisis at our border has only become worse. Monthly southern border encounters reached an all-time high in May, with 239,416 apprehensions, surpassing the previous record for the third consecutive month. 

Last week, in the single deadliest human smuggling incident in American history, more than 50 migrants were found dead in a tractor-trailer outside of San Antonio, Texas. Even before this tragedy, in fiscal year 2021, a record number of illegal immigrants died attempting the dangerous journey across our southern border. They are the victims of vile and callous human smugglers who are a part of a booming business thanks to Secretary Mayorkas. 

Secretary Mayorkas’s continued refusal to enforce federal immigration law has led to the deteriorating situation at our southern border.  Leaked video recordings revealed that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has decided to drop charges against all illegal immigrant defendants who do not pose a "national security or a public safety threat." 

Unsurprisingly, the Biden administration’s definition of a "public safety threat" is extremely narrow. According to previous guidance, an illegal immigrant convicted of driving drunk is not considered a "public safety threat" and is therefore not eligible for deportation. ICE is instituting a backdoor amnesty for nearly all the 2 million illegal immigrants with pending court hearings. 

Border towns are overwhelmed, but instead of stemming the flow of illegal immigrants, DHS recently announced plans to bus them into the interior city of their choosing. Let’s not forget, DHS has spent millions of taxpayer dollars to transport illegal immigrants from the border to cities across America – often in the dead of night. Clearly, Secretary Mayorkas has purposefully turned every town into a border town.

Open-border policies have taken a heavy toll on the American people. Under Secretary Mayorkas’s dismal leadership, drug overdose deaths hit a record high last year and fentanyl became the leading cause of death for young adults. Meanwhile, dangerous and violent drug cartels have seen their profits explode. 

In their May 24th response to our letter, DHS turned to worn-out and out-of-touch talking points, offering no real answers or solutions. Apparently, the border is in crisis because of "climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and larger global trends." Secretary Mayorkas isn’t trying to fix the border crisis—he is ignoring its existence. 

Biden’s DHS had the audacity to claim that their catch-and-release policies are somehow legal. They falsely asserted that their parole authority—which is supposed to be undertaken only for humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit on a case-by-case basis—has allowed them to release hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants en masse freely into the U.S. 

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that Secretary Mayorkas acted lawfully when he rescinded President Trump’s "Migrant Protection Protocols," a treaty that directed U.S. asylum seekers to "Remain in Mexico" until their claims are processed. While we were disappointed by the decision, the Court was also clear that it did not rule on whether DHS "is lawfully exercising its parole authorities." And in a dissenting opinion, Justice Alito wrote that Secretary Mayorkas paroled 27,000 illegal immigrants in the month of April alone, which strongly suggests DHS is breaking the law by "not really making these decisions on a case-by-case basis." 

Secretary Mayorkas has unquestionably violated his oath of office. He has intentionally invited millions to cross into Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California, violating Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution, which requires the federal government to "protect each of [the states] against invasion."

Our Constitution wisely set a high standard for impeaching federal officeholders. And unfortunately for us, Secretary Mayorkas’s blatant disregard for our laws meets that standard with ease. He has enriched criminals and deadly drug cartels, devastated American communities, and abandoned his sworn oath and therefore the Constitution in the process. When Republicans are in the majority again, we have a duty to end his bloody and lawless tenure and do what he has utterly failed to do: defend and secure the homeland.