Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene makes case for impeaching DHS chief Mayorkas

The case for ousting Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas gets its first test this week as the House will be forced to vote on Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s article of impeachment.

It’s still unclear how much support Ms. Greene has within her own party, much less among Democrats. Some Republicans have indicated they want to wait for the House to complete a full impeachment inquiry before pulling the trigger on a floor vote.

But others say it’s time to show Mr. Mayorkas the door.

“Many times, I’ve extended an olive branch to the Biden administration on border security solutions, but I have lost faith in their ability to do their job, enforce the rule of law, and protect the American homeland. For that reason, I fully support Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s resolution,” said Rep. Tony Gonzales, a Texas Republican whose district has more border than any other member of Congress.

Ms. Greene’s resolution charges Mr. Mayorkas with one count, accusing him of failing to carry out the laws entrusted to him.

She filed the article as a “privileged” resolution, which means the House must take it up in some fashion within two legislative days. The House is slated to return Monday and be in session through Thursday.

Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, supports impeachment but wasn’t sold on Ms. Greene’s attempt.

“Being the person that she is, she’s trying to leapfrog what is arguably a process that should follow the committee order,” he said.

Usually, impeachment follows an official “impeachment inquiry.” Republicans have yet to launch such a step, though they have been holding hearings and conducting what could best be thought of as inquiry-lite.

The Homeland Security Committee has produced several reports detailing Mr. Mayorkas’s “dereliction of duty,” complete with a list of times the GOP says he has misled Congress and flouted written laws.

Mr. Stein said GOP leaders need to quickly convert that into an inquiry.

“Frankly, we’re a little surprised that it’s taking this long, given that we’re hemorrhaging people at the border and it’s creating a crisis for our national security,” he said.

“if you appointed a guy like this as secretary of defense, Hawaii would now be under Chinese control. What Mayorkas is doing is not a game. It’s a threat to national security,” Mr. Stein said.

Mark Morgan, former head of Customs and Border Protection, said the case against Mr. Mayorkas is clear.

“From day one, Secretary Mayorkas has abdicated his oath of office; abused his authority; repeatedly lied to the American people and Congress; refused to enforce the law; and actively participated in the unjustified vilification of his own workforce,” he said. “More Americans, as well as migrants, have suffered unimaginable tragedies and died as a direct result of this man’s America last ideology. Impeachment is long overdue.”

But immigrant-rights advocates panned Ms. Greene’s impeachment push as weak — and perilous.

“To me she’s putting the horse before the cart, and the horse is lame and the cart has a broken wheel anyway,” said Douglas Rivlin, senior communications director at America’s Voice.

He said Republicans are wrong to say the border is open. He said more money has been spent on immigration enforcement in Mr. Biden’s three years than was spent in the full term of former President Donald Trump.

“Anybody who’s saying the border is open doesn’t really understand the border, they just understand Republican talking points,” he said.

Most worrying, Mr. Rivlin said, was the kind of rhetoric Ms. Greene used, citing an “invasion” at the border.

Mr. Rivlin said such language has not only become common among Republicans but also shown up in the writings of the men convicted of hate-crime mass shootings in Pittsburgh, Buffalo and El Paso, Texas.

“The notion that these gunmen had in their head and their manifestos, that there’s an invasion and they had to stop it violently. And that, I think, is a very disturbing aspect of the Republican rhetoric on this issue,” he said.

Ms. Greene’s resolution accuses Mr. Mayorkas of “willful admittance” of unauthorized migrants and drugs; “allowing the invasion of approximately 10,000,000 illegals” including 400,000 unaccompanied alien children; and overseeing a record amount of fentanyl smuggled across the border.

She said Mr. Mayorkas has flouted laws requiring unauthorized migrants to be detained while they argue against their deportations, and used his “parole” powers to “unlawfully” allow migrants to enter despite lacking a legal visa.

Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas, in his inability to enforce the law, has engaged in a pattern of conduct that is incompatible with his duties as a civil officer of the United States,” Ms. Greene’s impeachment resolution charges.

The 10 million illegal border crossings comes from calculations that 8 million unauthorized migrants have been encountered by agents and officers since January 2021, and a guess that 1.8 million “gotaways” have evaded apprehension.

The fentanyl and illegal-immigrant children numbers are Homeland Security’s own figures.

Mr. Mayorkas has indeed overseen the largest catch-and-release of illegal immigrants in history, along with record low deportations, meaning an unknown but massive number of them are still here.

The newcomers have overwhelmed local communities and the department has little hope of pushing them out.

Mr. Mayorkas says previous administrations have also been forced into catch-and-release practices and that the only thing that sets his performance apart is the sheer magnitude of the flow of people.

The secretary has also flexed his parole powers in ways far beyond what any other secretary has done.

The Congressional Budget Office has calculated that Mr. Mayorkas used parole to admit 1.5 million unauthorized migrants from October 2021 to April 2023. The rate of parole has only increased since then.

The legality of this is before the courts, though congressional Republicans say there’s no doubt in their mind Mr. Mayorkas has stretched the law beyond the breaking point.

Homeland Security says Republicans are griping about policy differences, not about the sort of high crimes or misdemeanors the Constitution requires for impeachment.

“While the House majority has wasted months trying to score points with baseless attacks, Secretary Mayorkas has been doing his job and working to keep Americans safe,” department spokeswoman Mia Ehrenberg said.

“Instead of continuing their reckless impeachment charades and attacks on law enforcement, Congress should work with us to keep our country safe, build on the progress DHS is making, and deliver desperately needed reforms for our broken immigration system that only legislation can fix,” she added.

Mr. Stein said if it were just one thing, that might be chalked up to policy differences.

But he said the long list of failures means, to him, that Mr. Mayorkas has given up on enforcing the law. And that, he said, deserves impeachment.

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