House Committee Concludes Mayorkas Investigation, Schedules Impeachment Hearings
FAIR Take | January 2024
Late last month, the House Homeland Security Committee released its fifth and final interim report in its five-phase investigation into Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The final installment focuses on Secretary Mayorkas’ misuse of taxpayer funds throughout the border crisis. Building on evidence compiled in the investigation, the Committee is set to begin impeachment hearings against Mayorkas this week.
Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) officially moved to begin the process last week. In a statement, Green said that, “For almost three years, the American people have demanded an end to the unprecedented crisis at the Southwest border, and they have also rightly called for Congress to hold accountable those responsible…Our investigation made clear that this crisis finds its foundation in Secretary Mayorkas’ decision-making and refusal to enforce the laws passed by Congress, and that his failure to fulfill his oath of office demands accountability.” Impeachment proceedings will begin this Wednesday, January 10, in a hearing entitled, “Havoc in the Heartland: How Secretary Mayorkas’ Failed Leadership has Impacted the States.”
The Committee’s final report helps round out the congressional record for the impeachment hearings. The report hones in on Mayorkas’ “failure to detain illegal aliens and use Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention resources in accordance with their intended purpose, and the Biden administration’s decision to halt construction of the border wall system that had already been bought and paid for by taxpayers—a move Secretary Mayorkas has publicly stated he stood behind.”
One of the main examples highlighted by the Committee was the border wall. At the start of the Biden Administration, around $1.9 billion of funds congressionally appropriated to DHS were designated for border wall construction, and $5 billion of Department of Defense (DOD) funds, remained unused. Biden, however, immediately moved to suspend construction and Mayorkas has led efforts to block border wall construction, costing taxpayers roughly $2 billion in broken contracts and allowing millions of illegal aliens into the country. Although the Biden Administration quietly directed the construction of 20 miles of border wall in the Rio Grande Valley this June, it has consistently stood by its anti-wall messaging, doing the bare minimum needed to skirt the law.
In addition, under Mayorkas’ watch, detention beds have gone empty as the Biden Administration implemented a mass catch-and-release policy. Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 set a record with over 3.2 million illegal aliens encountered at our nation’s borders. However, DHS only requested 25,000 detention beds in its FY24 budget, a sharp decrease from the 45,000 in FY19. Instead, states are being forced to expend additional taxpayer dollars towards sheltering aliens as Mayorkas releases them into the country. According to the report, costs to house aliens in hotels and shelters are significantly higher than simply utilizing ICE facilities. In New York, the cost per day in family shelters is around $339, while those for single adults cost $184. By comparison, an ICE detention bed costs $142.44 or less.
As previously detailed by FAIR, Mayorkas has set a series of records that no one should be proud of, leading to record profits for drug traffickers and human smugglers. In just three years, more than 8 million illegal aliens have been apprehended at our borders, and at least another 1.7 million “gotaways” have evaded Border Patrol. Likewise, FY23 saw nearly 30,000 pounds of fentanyl seized at the border and 172 illegal aliens on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist attempting to cross the borders illegally. The daily and monthly apprehension records were also both broken multiple times in the last year, with more than 341,000 aliens apprehended in September and more than 12,600 apprehended on a single day in December. Speaking at a press conference in Eagle Pass, Texas, last Wednesday, Chairman Mark Green called Mayorkas the “greatest domestic threat to the national security and the safety of the American people.”
The details gathered throughout the five-phase investigation combined with record apprehension numbers and drug seizures all point to Mayorkas’ dereliction of duty. The Secretary’s tenure has been characterized by one failure after another, as he continues to disregard the law and put American lives in jeopardy. The American people, and enforcement of our immigration laws, have become an afterthought with Mayorkas at the helm. When the Committee moves into impeachment proceedings this week, they’ll have more than enough evidence to clearly show the Secretary’s role in undermining the rule of law and facilitating the border crisis.
To learn more about the case against Secretary Mayorkas, click here.