Mayorkas Dodges and Weaves in House Committee ‘Charade’
Days before Mayorkas’ appearance, Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, sent a letter asking the secretary to come armed with answers to a series of questions about administration immigration policies.
“I am prepared to answer questions,” Mayorkas stated in his opening remarks. But he wasn’t, and he didn’t. Instead of being responsive, the secretary spent the ensuing four-plus hours blurring and demurring, while vaguely pledging to be forthcoming at some future date. Among the subjects he put off:
- How many of the roughly 2.1 million inadmissible aliens encountered by DHS have been removed from the country.
- The disposition of 140 encountered migrants on the U.S. terrorist watch list.
- The current status of 14,000 border drug smugglers DHS says it arrested this year.
- The number and cost of federal grants to Non-Governmental Organizations paid by DHS to transport, house, and serve migrants.
- The number of Afghans paroled into the U.S. through “Operation Allies Welcome” program.
The Afghan query was an easy one since the answer (77,000) was reported in a CBS News story a week ago. But Mayorkas couldn’t bring himself to convey that information.
When, after nearly three hours of deflection and obfuscation, Mayorkas even declined to give himself a grade for his work at DHS, frustrated Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Indiana, summed up his testimony as “a charade.” Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, branded the secretary “the most dishonest witness this committee has ever had.”
Though a few panel Democrats vociferously objected to Johnson’s characterization, Mayorkas’ platitudinous performance merely served to fuel talk of impeachment.
Wednesday’s showdown came days after Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee issued a report building a case for the secretary’s removal. Their 112-page report concluded:
“Mayorkas is not an innocent bystander at the mercy of the federal bureaucracy, global events or political opponents — he is the chief architect of the illegal immigration crisis that Americans have suffered through since January 2021.
“He has either willfully sparked the current crisis through his extreme and irresponsible policies, or is such a poorly informed, inefficient and inflexible leader that he is negligent in his duties. Either way, he has been derelict in his duty to secure the border, defend the homeland and keep the American people safe, violating his oath to defend the Constitution and faithfully discharge the duties of his office.”
Mayorkas was not asked about those allegations Wednesday. But he repeatedly and risibly insisted – against all evidence to the contrary — that the “border is not open.” Though that claim is subject to interpretation, Mayorkas’ assertion that no administration has ever met the definition of operational control under the Secure Fence Act was ironic. This said the man who ignored the Secure Fence Act and refused to build even part of the border fence that was already paid for by taxpayers.