Lawmakers Grill Alejandro Mayorkas for Alleged Border Security Failures

Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, suffered through a grilling by lawmakers Tuesday, during hearings held by both the Senate and House over the failures of the Biden administration in regard to border security.

Republican members of both the Senate and House Appropriations Committee pressed the secretary on the lack of action the White House has taken to secure the U.S. southern border with Mexico, even as the annual budget for the department continues to increase and the fact that President Joe Biden has executive authority to do something about the crisis himself.

In an opening statement, Republican Representative Dave Joyce of Ohio said:

“For over three years, we have seen skyrocketing illegal immigration at our borders. And every corner of the country can see and feel its impact. The American people know that the border is not secure; it is a full-blown crisis that this administration has sought to downplay for years.

“While recently, their messaging has changed as the 2024 election nears, this budget shows those are just empty words. This request is not serious if the goal is to fix the problem and secure the border.”

Joyce said that if “quick and decisive consequences” aren’t put into place, illegal immigrants will continue to flow into the U.S. “unabated.”

He referred to statistics that show that the number of encounters with migrants still exceeds 5,000 per day, even though the Biden administration has claimed to take decisive action to stop it.

As Joyce continue:

“The president implemented many of the policies that have contributed to this crisis with the stroke of a pen, and he could reverse them if he so chooses.”

Republican Representative Michael Cloud of Texas said that the president has the full authority to solve the crisis at the border on his own, but instead, has done “everything to undermine the border.”

After much back-and-forth at the hearing, Mayorkas finally came around to admitting that there was indeed a crisis at the U.S. southern border. However, he still defended the efforts that the Biden administration has allegedly undertaken to make sure it’s secure.

In the Senate hearing, Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana scolded Democrats in Congress and the Biden administration as a whole for ignoring how many illegal immigrants have made their way through the southern border.

As he said directly to Mayorkas:

“Senate Democrats may try to dismiss the impeachment charges against you, but they can’t sweep the Biden border crisis under the rug — not even a rug as big as the United States of America.”

Mayorkas was impeached by the House in February. The articles of impeachment weren’t sent over to the Senate until April 10, though, according to House Speaker Mike Johnson.

That means that his trial could start in the Senate as early as next week. It’s unlikely that Mayorkas will be removed from office, as it would take a two-thirds majority vote to do so, and Democrats hold the majority in the Senate.