Texas Congressman Introduces Articles of Impeachment Against Alejandro Mayorkas
FAIR Take | January 2023
There’s a new sheriff in town with Republicans taking over the House, and one of their top priorities is holding Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas accountable for the raging border crisis. On January 9, the first day Members of Congress could introduce bills following the delayed Speaker election and swearing-in, Congressman Pat Fallon (R-TX) introduced articles of impeachment against Mayorkas for committing “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Already, the resolution has gained support of 26 Republican co-sponsors and figures to gain traction in the coming weeks.
Spanning nine pages, Fallon’s resolution details three specific grounds for impeachment. First, it alleges violation of specific laws already on the books, including the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-367), which requires Mayorkas to maintain “operational control” of the border, and sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) requiring detention of illegal aliens. The latter has been willfully and routinely violated through catch-and-release and wanton abuse of parole authority.
Second, it alleges “perjurious, false, and misleading testimony to Congress” on at least two occasions. Perjury under oath is a serious crime that can result in fines and/or imprisonment for up to five years. Per Fallon, Mayorkas committed perjury when he asserted during testimony on April 28, 2022, in response to questioning by Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX), that “we do” have operational control of the border, and again on November 15, 2022, when he answered “Yes” to Congressman Dan Bishop (R-NC) when asked if he “continue[s] to maintain that the border is secure.”
Third, the impeachment resolution details Mayorkas unfairly throwing his own hardworking Border Patrol agents under the bus and misleading the American public when he falsely asserted agents had whipped Haitian migrants illegally crossing the Rio Grande near Del Rio, TX in September 2021. At the time, Mayorkas said, “those images painfully conjured up the worst elements of our nation’s ongoing battle against systemic racism” and vowed to “address it with full force.” However, Mayorkas had been alerted the same day by his assistant secretary for public affairs, Marsha Espinosa, that the photographer who took the photos didn’t see agents whipping anyone. An ensuing 511-page report by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), released in July 2022, likewise found no evidence that agents had whipped anyone. As Fallon’s impeachment resolution notes, “Secretary Mayorkas slandered his own Border Patrol agents…contributing to a further decrease in already-low morale among agents.”
Upon introduction, Fallon astutely said, “Since day one, Secretary Mayorkas’ policies have undermined law enforcement activities at our southern border… [he] has proven time and time again that he is unfit to lead the Department of Homeland Security.” Fallon’s resolution is the latest in a string of GOP broadsides against Mayorkas. In August 2021, during the previous Congress, Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) introduced the first articles of impeachment against Mayorkas. Biggs also spearheaded an “Impeach Mayorkas” press conference with 20 House Republicans and three Trump administration immigration officials outside the Capitol in December. Biggs’ impeachment resolution never reached the floor under Democratic control, but now that Republicans have a majority, the effort has fresh momentum. Any official impeached by the House is then tried by the Senate, which retained a Democratic majority in the 2022 midterms. Therefore it’s unlikely Mayorkas would actually be removed from office through impeachment, but it’s nevertheless an important tool to increase pressure on a lawless administration.