Angel Moms Deliver Heartbreaking Testimony in Final Mayorkas Impeachment Hearing
FAIR Take | January 2024
Last Thursday, the House Committee on Homeland Security held its final impeachment hearing for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas. The hearing, entitled, “Voices for the Victims: The Heartbreaking Reality of the Mayorkas Border Crisis,” focused on testimony from Americans who have been impacted by the Secretary’s refusal to enforce our immigration laws.
During the hearing, Members heard testimony from several Americans, including Tammy Nobles and Josephine Dunn, angel moms who tragically lost children as a result of the Biden Administration’s border crisis. The Committee also received testimony from Deborah Pearlstein, the director of Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University and Sheriff Dannels of Cochise County, Arizona.
Ms. Nobles testified emotionally about her daughter’s death at the hands of an illegal alien. In 2022, Tammy’s 20-year-old daughter, Kayla, was brutally raped and strangled to death in her room. An illegal alien with alleged MS-13 connections and a criminal record in El Salvador has been charged with her murder. According to Ms. Nobles, DHS failed to cross reference his identity with El Salvador’s database or conduct inspections that would have revealed MS-13 tattoos. The suspect, whose identity was withheld as he was 17 at the time at the time of the attack, was indicted in early 2023 on 11 charges, including first-degree murder, robbery, and rape. He will be tried as an adult.
Under Mayorkas, the number of criminal aliens in the country convicted of homicide and manslaughter, assault, battery, domestic violence, and drug trafficking has spiked. In 2023, Immigration and Customs reported that of the roughly 6.2 million known illegal aliens awaiting court hearings, over 400,000 were convicted criminal aliens living freely in the U.S. To make matters worse, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is arresting fewer criminal aliens. In FY18, more than 138,000 aliens with pending charges or convictions were arrested by ICE. By FY23, fewer than 74,000 aliens with pending charges or convictions were arrested.
The Committee also heard testimony from Josephine Dunn, who tragically lost her daughter, Ashley, to fentanyl poisoning in 2021. Ms. Dunn recounted the devastation she felt after losing her daughter, who unknowingly took one half of one pill of Percocet that was laced with five milligrams of fentanyl. According to Ms. Dunn, the record amounts of fentanyl crossing our borders constitute “a weapon of mass destruction, and unimaginable death and damage to our country facilitated by Mr. Mayorkas.”
Similar to criminal aliens, Mayorkas’ tenure has seen an explosion in fentanyl seizures and deaths. From Fiscal Years 2021 through 2023, nearly 53,000 pounds of fentanyl was seized by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the majority of which came over the southern border. In 2021 alone, more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths were caused by synthetic opioids other than methadone—primarily fentanyl. The crisis has become so prevalent that fentanyl poisoning is now the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18-45.
Secretary Mayorkas was invited to testify in the impeachment proceedings but rejected the Committee’s offer. According to Chairman Green, “The Committee has given Secretary Mayorkas chance after chance to appear and explain his actions, decisions, and statements to us and the American people. Over the past several months, he has tacitly rejected those offers, resorting instead to political games and delay.” The Secretary will now have until January 28 to submit written testimony, before the Committee moves to vote on his impeachment on January 31.
Prior to Thursday’s hearing, more than two dozen former DHS officials sent a letter to Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) accusing the Committee of attempting to impeach Mayorkas because of “long-standing differences on immigration and border policies.” In response, the Committee emphasized that their basis for impeachment goes far beyond policy differences, and instead is an effort to hold Secretary Mayorkas accountable for willfully disregarding the law and violating his oath of office. The Committee’s majority members released a statement which argued that, “The Secretary has consistently willfully and systemically refused to follow the laws passed by Congress, abused his authority and breached the trust of Congress and the American people on numerous occasions.”
The details gathered throughout the Committee’s five-phase investigation combined with record apprehension numbers and drug seizures all point to the Secretary’s failure to follow the law and abide by his oath of office. With Mayorkas at the helm, the American people are last on the priority list, and in some cases have paid the price for his failure to secure the homeland with their lives. Without a change in leadership and policy, the safety of communities all over the country will continue to be jeopardized.