House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy warned Monday during a tour of the South Texas border with Mexico that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas could face impeachment if he is “derelict” in his job.
The GOP leader was part of a delegation of 10 House members who visited the region on the very day the Texas Military Department announced it had recovered the body of Texas National Guard Specialist Bishop E. Evans, who went missing after jumping into the Rio Grande river to help two migrants who survived — they were later identified as suspected drug smugglers.
Mayorkas is set to testify before the House on Wednesday and Thursday and Republicans are expected to grill him on the border crisis — more than 2 million illegal immigrants crossed into the U.S. in 2021, with many thousands more entering undetected, according to Border Patrol. In March, more than 221,000 migrants were apprehended, which represents the highest number in a single month since President Joe Biden took office.
McCarthy also dismissed all the hoopla over a recording of him talking about former President Donald Trump possibly resigning if it appeared likely that the Senate would uphold the articles of impeachment passed by the Democrat-controlled House.
“What’s more important than something that happened 15 months ago on a private conversation with about four other people is what’s happening here right now,” he said at a press conference, according to The Hill.
“30 days from now, President Biden wants to lift Title 42…if it’s unsustainable today, what will it look like a month from now?…A country without a secure border is not a country.” – @GOPLeader on the #BidenBorderCrisis pic.twitter.com/oMzPFn9que
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) April 25, 2022
“This is his moment in time to do his job. But at any time if someone is derelict in their job, there is always the option of impeaching somebody,” McCarthy said, speaking of Mayorkas. “But right now, he’s got 30 days. His first response to us should be, ‘We should not lift Title 42.’ They’re not prepared to protect, and we cannot sustain what will happen to this nation.”
The Biden administration planned to lift Title 42 on May 23, but a federal judge stepped in on Monday to temporarily block that plan.
“Title 42 was first implemented by the Trump administration and later the Biden administration during the coronavirus pandemic to turn away migrants at the border,” The Hill reported. “It allowed both administrations to deny asylum-seekers a hearing before a judge.”
House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) took to Twitter to accuse President Biden and the Democratic caucus of “dereliction of duty” on the border.
“Heartbreaking to hear from local elected officials, business leaders, ranchers, agricultural leaders, and community members regarding the daily impact of the border crisis. It is absolutely heartbreaking and a dereliction of duty from Joe Biden and House Democrats,” she tweeted.
Heartbreaking to hear from local elected officials, business leaders, ranchers, agricultural leaders, and community members regarding the daily impact of the border crisis. It is absolutely heartbreaking and a dereliction of duty from Joe Biden and House Democrats.
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) April 25, 2022
On Monday, a letter signed by 133 Republican House members was sent to Mayorkas expressing “grave concerns” and questioning his “suitability for office.” McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.) and Stefanik were among the signees.
Led by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Chairman of the Border Security Caucus, and his co-chair Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), the letter began: “We write to address your actions to dismantle the security of our nation’s southern border and disregard for the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. Your actions have willingly endangered American citizens and undermine the rule of law and our nation’s sovereignty. Your failure to secure the border and enforce the laws passed by Congress raises grave questions about your suitability for office.”
“We call on you to immediately take all legal and necessary actions at your disposal — of which there are many — to secure the southern border, rectify the dangerous policies this administration has put in motion over the past year, and bring your agency into compliance with the laws passed by the United States Congress,” the lawmakers added.
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