Efforts to impeach Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over the border crisis appeared to gain steam on Wednesday as the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee met to examine the “Biden Border Crisis.”
“Month after month, we have set records for migrants coming into the country, and frankly, I think it’s intentional,” said House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) on Wednesday filed articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, saying he has “a congressional responsibility to impeach figures who are in dereliction of their duties and commit crimes.”
Today I am filing impeachment articles against DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
I have a congressional responsibility to impeach figures who are in dereliction of their duties and commit crimes.
If we don't impeach him, his attack on this nation will continue.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) February 1, 2023
Biggs announced his intention to introduce impeachment articles Tuesday evening on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
It's gone for too long.
Secretary Mayorkas' actions are putting Americans in harm's way when he is supposed to be protecting them.
Tomorrow morning I will officially introduce my impeachment articles against him to finally remove him from office. pic.twitter.com/t82TEKrhG7
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) February 1, 2023
Biggs is the second Republican to file articles of impeachment against the embattled DHS secretary. Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) filed H.Res.8 “Impeaching Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, for high crimes and misdemeanors” on January 9, 2023.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called on Mayorkas to resign in November, warning that Republicans would launch an investigation to begin impeachment proceedings if he doesn’t.
“If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign, House Republicans will investigate every order, every action and every failure to determine whether we can begin impeachment inquiries,” said McCarthy during a visit to El Paso in November with other GOP lawmakers.
In December alone, Border Patrol apprehended 17 people who had names that matched those on the FBI’s watch list, bringing the total number of individuals arrested at the southern border between ports of entry to 38 since just October, Fox News reported on Wednesday.
The numbers have been steadily increasing since Joe Biden took office.
“There were 98 terror watch list arrests in FY22, 15 in FY21 and just three in FY 20 at the southern border caught between ports of entry,” according to the Fox report.
At the ports of entry at the northern and southern borders, meanwhile, CBP’s Office of Field Operations has encountered 125 people on the TSDB so far this fiscal year. In FY 2022 there were 380 apprehensions, 157 in FY21 and 196 in FY20.
The increase in apprehensions between ports of entry has raised concerns that, amid a historic spike in illegal immigration across the southern border, illegal criminals and terrorists could be slipping by overwhelmed Border Patrol agents.
So far this fiscal year, nearly 300,000 illegal immigrants have evaded Border Patrol, with an average of 2,450 a day in the last 120 days, sources told Fox News last week.
In fiscal 2022, there were nearly 600,000 gotaways. There were 389,155 gotaways at the border in fiscal 2021, and fiscal 2023 is on track to easily outpace those numbers. Last week, agents told Fox News there have been more than 1.2 million gotaways during the Biden administration.
More than 2.4 million illegal aliens crossed the US-Mexico border in the last fiscal year, according to the latest U.S. CBP data.
In just the past week (01/22/23 to 01/28/23) in Del Rio, there have been 4,297 “Known Gotaways” U.S. Border Patrol agent Jason D. Owens tweeted on Tuesday.
Del Rio Sector Weekly Recap (01/22/23 – 01/28/23)
•4,297 Known Gotaways
•6 Large Groups
•4 Sex Offenders
•61 Smuggling Cases pic.twitter.com/vuEfITOnx7
— Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens (@USBPChiefDRT) January 31, 2023
In a statement in January, following the release of DHS’s atrocious December border encounter numbers, Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, vowed to hold Mayorkas accountable.
“Another month and another effort from DHS to hinder transparency with the American people. It’s no surprise we get our most important information from DHS on a Friday after dark. The Southwest border is an unmitigated disaster and these monthly encounter numbers from DHS prove just that. The Biden administration continues to break its own records every month. Never before in DHS history has there been a month with encounters this high. It’s no coincidence that all of these dangerous records are happening on Biden’s watch.
“However, the tides are changing. This Committee will no longer tolerate receiving these critical updates 20 days into the month and we will no longer tolerate this refusal to enforce law and order at the border. We look forward to having Secretary Mayorkas before the Committee soon to provide answers and accountability for the significant threat these border security policies have had on our homeland security posture.”
Green promised to grill the DHS chief about the department’s catch and release policies that have led to the murder of American citizens like 20-year-old Kayla Hamilton of Maryland.
“This murder suspect allegedly killed a 20-year-old woman just months after being released into the U.S. by the Biden Administration,” Green tweeted on Jan. 23. “We’ll be adding this incident to our list of questions to ask Secretary Mayorkas.”
This murder suspect allegedly killed a 20-year-old woman just months after being released into the U.S. by the Biden Administration. We’ll be adding this incident to our list of questions to ask Secretary Mayorkas.https://t.co/l8F14H6RCc
— Rep. Mark Green (@RepMarkGreen) January 23, 2023
The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday morning to examine the influx of illegal immigrants and security concerns at the southern border, as well as arguments to impeach Mayorkas over the border crisis.
In his opening statement Jordan said it looks to him like the chaos at the border is “deliberate,” “pre-meditated,” and “intentional.”
“Month after month, we have set records for migrants coming into the country, and frankly, I think it’s intentional,” Jordan said. “I don’t know how anyone with common sense of logic can reach any other conclusion. It seems deliberate, it seems pre-meditated, it seems intentional.” The Ohio Republican also noted that illegal immigration is now exploding on the United State’s northern border, as well.
CBP officials said in a statement last week that between Oct. 1, 2002, and Dec. 31, 2022, Vermont’s Swanton Sector recorded an increase in apprehensions and encounters of around 743 percent compared to the same period in 2021.
The statement went on to say that “combined apprehensions and encounters in Fiscal Year 2023 have already surpassed that of Fiscal Year 2022 and recent trends represent a sustained increase in illegal border crossings as we head into the harshest winter months.”
Jordan noted that Mayorkas had previously declared that “we are executing our plan on the border,” and Biden had stated that “we’re trying to make it easier for people to get here.”
“Well, they’re certainly succeeding in that,” Jordan quipped.
Lawmakers heard testimony from two Texas county judges, an Arizona sheriff and the co-founder of an anti-fentanyl advocacy group whose son died of an overdose of the drug.
“Today, we will hear about some of the effects of Biden’s open border policies on everyday Americans and the communities in which they live. We will hear about dangerous encounters with migrants … we’ll hear about the devastating effects of fentanyl on American families,” Jordan said.
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) February 1, 2023
Brandon Dunn, co-founder of Forever 15 Project, offered heartbreaking testimony about the loss of his teenage son to fentanyl.
Heartbreaking testimony to @JudiciaryGOP from father of a 15-year-old fentanyl victim. This illicit drug affects “both sides of the political aisle.”
“This isn’t a political issue. This is an issue about the safety of our children.” pic.twitter.com/vq3vxgJU3X
— Rep. Barry Moore (@RepBarryMoore) February 1, 2023
Sheriff Mark Dannels of Cochise County, Arizona, described the impact the border crisis has had on his community.
Enough with the staged photo ops and turning a blind eye to the #BidenBorderCrisis.
Hear directly from Sheriff Mark Dannels on the impact in his community.
❌ Cartels trafficking women
❌ Deadly pursuits up
❌ Fentanyl smugglings increased pic.twitter.com/kd8QzIs6vH
— Rep. Tom Tiffany (@RepTiffany) February 1, 2023
DHS told congressional Republicans last month that it would not allow four senior Border Patrol officials to testify about the chaos at the border.
“DHS is obstructing congressional oversight,” Rep. James Comer, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, wrote in a letter challenging the move.
After Comer threatened threated to use “the compulsory process” to force Mayorkas’ hand, DHS relented, according to Oversight Republicans. The Oversight Committee will hold its own hearing on the border crisis next Tuesday.
After @RepJamesComer threatened subpoenas, DHS is finally allowing Chief Border Patrol Agents to testify at next week’s hearing on the #BidenBorderCrisis.
It is critical to hear from Border Patrol agents on this humanitarian and national security crisis.https://t.co/qSxu9iz4IU
— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) February 1, 2023