Responding to reports that the House GOP majority wants him out of office, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas defiantly rejected the idea.
Mayorkas spoke with CNN’s Chris Wallace, who referred to the “slings and arrows of your critics” and asked if that would “force you out.”
“They will not force me out,” Mayorkas snapped.
A record rise of illegal immigrants have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border during Mayorkas tenure, prompting House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to bluntly state, “I am calling on the secretary to resign. He cannot and must not remain in that position. If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign, House Republicans will investigate every order, every action, and every failure will determine whether we can begin impeachment inquiry.”
Three House committees are currently investigating the border. If Mayorkas is impeached, he would be the first Cabinet secretary to be impeached since 1876.
Mayorkas, who has insisted in the past, “The border is closed. The border is secure. The border is secure,” declared he has done nothing wrong, arguing, “I think it is a disagreement over policy, and I think it is used for political purposes to continue a negative dialogue about a migration challenge that is not unique to the United States, to continue that dialogue to uplift it for political reasons.”
“Critics point out in 2020, Donald Trump’s final year in office, U.S. border authorities encountered migrants 458,000 times at the border but under Joe Biden in 2022, there were 2.3 million encounters. How can you say the border is secure?” Wallace queried.
“Right now the United States has millions of jobs opening due to the economic success of this administration,” Mayorkas deflected. “We have progressed in conquering the pandemic far more than the countries to the south of Mexico. And that makes the United States an appealing place of destination for people fleeing persecution or otherwise in desperate need of a better life.”
“What does secure mean to you?” Wallace pressed. “We have all seen the scenes of floods of people walking across shallow points in the Rio Grande. We’ve all seen the pictures of encampments in downtowns in El Paso, places in Arizona. We’ve all seen the pictures of the flood of migrants coming to New York. … By those standards, it is not a secure border. … Migrants believe there’s an open border.”
“I don’t think the more than 1.5 million people who have been removed or expelled from the border would consider the border open,” Mayorkas said then seemingly blamed Republicans for the surge in illegal immigration. “But political leaders communicate that the border is open. That is music to the smugglers’ ears and the smugglers themselves spread —”
“Wait, wait, wait, you’re going to blame this all on Republican critics?” Wallace said, shocked.
“They used that rhetoric,” Mayorkas answered.