In a striking display of defiance, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has vehemently countered accusations of misconduct and non-compliance with the law. In an impassioned six-page letter addressed to the Homeland Security Committee, just hours before the committee's session to deliberate articles of impeachment against him, Mayorkas robustly defended his lifelong dedication to public service.
This event marks a rare instance, the first in nearly 150 years, where a Cabinet secretary faces such proceedings. Mayorkas, unshaken by the allegations, asserted, "Your false accusations do not rattle me and do not divert me from the law enforcement and broader public service mission to which I have devoted most of my career and to which I remain devoted." His letter, delivered early Tuesday, dismisses the charges as unfounded and emphasizes his unwavering commitment to his duties.
Mayorkas Faces Impeachment
The Homeland Security Committee is set to review a resolution accusing Mayorkas of "high crimes and misdemeanors" in his implementation of immigration policies. The impeachment articles, unveiled over the weekend, charge Mayorkas with a deliberate refusal to adhere to the law, citing a "catch and release scheme" that permits migrants to stay in the United States while awaiting court proceedings.
Additionally, he is accused of making false statements and obstructing lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security regarding border security. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), a leading Democrat on the committee, criticized the impeachment articles for lacking substantial evidence and accused Republican members of exploiting the impeachment process to satisfy their political base.
In his response, Mayorkas underlined his commitment to cooperating with congressional oversight, highlighting his extensive testimony in 27 Congressional hearings since his appointment as DHS Secretary - a record among Cabinet members.
He also reiterated his deep respect for law enforcement, a value instilled in him since childhood as the son of Cuban immigrants.
Border Deal Controversy Escalates
Mayorkas voiced his support for the bipartisan border deal currently in Senate discussions, believing it could significantly impact border management.
However, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has expressed opposition to the deal and is determined to advance the impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas. Despite this, the Democrat-led Senate is likely to acquit Mayorkas, raising questions about the effectiveness of the House Republicans' efforts.
The DHS has previously condemned the impeachment charges as lacking evidence, suggesting that House Republicans are more focused on leveraging the border crisis for political gain rather than seeking real solutions. "Whatever proceedings you initiate, however baseless, my responsiveness to oversight requests will not waver," Mayorkas stated in his letter.
House Homeland Security Committee Chair Mark Green (R-TN) criticized Mayorkas' late response, questioning his seriousness towards his Congressional responsibilities and obligations to the American public. This statement, provided to Axios, adds another layer to the unfolding political drama surrounding Secretary Mayorkas' tenure and the contentious debate over immigration policies.