House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said Tuesday that the incoming GOP House majority will investigate and potentially impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the U.S. southern border.
McCarthy made the pledge in a press conference after leading a contingent of Republican House members in a visit to the U.S. southern border near El Paso, Texas. McCarthy is expected to become House speaker next year provided he can overcome internal resistance from conservative members of the House.
“[Mayorkas’s] actions have produced the greatest wave of illegal immigration in recorded history. Our country may never recover from Secretary Mayorkas’ dereliction of duty,” McCarthy said. “This is why, today, 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,” he continued. “If secretary Mayorkas was in charge of any company, he would have been fired by now for the failures of what he has caused.”
President Joe Biden’s administration forced out U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Chris Magnus earlier this month over the unprecedented crisis at the southern border. Illegal immigration across the U.S. southern border has set multiple records since Biden took office nearly two years ago.
Immigration authorities have recorded record-shattering numbers of migrant encounters along the U.S. southern border the past two years. In fiscal year 2021, the Department of Homeland Security recorded about 1.7 million migrant encounters. In fiscal year 2022, that number increased to 2.3 million encounters. Those numbers do not include hundreds of thousands of “gotaways,” migrants who were observed crossing, but could not be apprehended, who entered the U.S. since Biden took office.
In addition to total migration numbers, immigration authorities have also seen a jump in known and suspected terrorists attempting to enter the U.S. In fiscal year 2022, authorities arrested 98 people on the FBI’s terror watch list attempting to enter the U.S. through its southern border. Two years ago in fiscal year 2019, that number was zero.
Communities along the border have also faced a constant humanitarian crisis as shelters, cities, and federal authorities attempt to process and house the flood of people entering the U.S. A recent court order forcing the Biden administration to scrap Title 42 in roughly a month has raised concerns that the humanitarian crisis may worsen. Title 42 allows CBP agents to expel migrants back to Mexico without processing over COVID concerns.