Two GOP senators accused Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of “dereliction of duty,” claiming his inaction on border enforcement could serve as grounds for impeachment.
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sent a letter to Mayorkas on Wednesday as the nation’s southern border continues to experience a soaring number of migrant crossings.
“Your failure to faithfully enforce this nation’s immigration laws and willful blindness to the very real humanitarian crisis at our southern border amounts to a gross dereliction of duty and a violation of your oath of office,” the senators wrote.
“Historically high levels of illegal immigration and illicit drug trafficking demonstrate that our southern border is open for every kind of public health and national security threat imaginable. Despite the heroic efforts by the men and women of Border Patrol, who operate with very little support from Washington, D.C., you have failed to achieve any semblance of operational control of the southern border,” they added.
RELEASE: In Letter, Sens. Cruz, Graham Raise Prospect of Impeachment for DHS Secretary Mayorkas
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) October 6, 2022
“We have grave concerns about what this failure means for both national security and the health and safety of American citizens. These failures cannot go unaddressed, and your actions cannot be unaccounted for. The American people deserve better,” the letter read.
Despite claims from the Biden administration that the southern border is secure, the statistics from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) present a different picture.
A total of 2,150,639 illegal alien encounters by CBP on the southern border occurred in the fiscal year 2022, the most ever in a single year, according to the agency. The high level of encounters surpassed the previous year, which recorded 1,734,686 encounters in the fiscal year 2021, the second-most ever in a single year.
“Far from taking steps to address this crisis and secure the southern border, you have allowed the situation to worsen and pursued policies that have greatly exacerbated the problem while continuing to insist that ‘the border is secure.’ This is gross dereliction of duty and, if not corrected swiftly, could provide grounds for impeachment,” Cruz and Graham argued.
In addition to a surge in migrant encounters, the senators cited significant amounts of fentanyl seized by the CBP.
The totals included 12,861 pounds seized by CBP in the fiscal year 2022, a 219% increase over the same point in the fiscal year 2020. In addition, 2,287 pounds of fentanyl were seized just last month, enough to kill more than 500 million people.