Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas refused a request from the House Committee on Homeland Security to appear on Thursday to answer questions regarding his handling of the migration crisis along the southwest border. According to a statement by Committee Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN), Mayorkas thumbed his nose at the latest request to appear before the committee, citing commitments to meet with a delegation of Mexican cabinet members next week.
The committee issued a statement critical of the secretary’s refusal of the latest request and previous invitations, providing Mayorkas multiple dates to appear before the members in a historic impeachment hearing. The most recent invitation from Chairman Green was issued on January 5, 2024, requesting Mayorkas’ appearance on January 18, 2024.
The invitation cites the previous declinations to appear by Mayorkas and reads, “I am in receipt of your responses to my August 16, 2023, and September 18, 2023, letters, declining to appear before the Committee on Homeland Security (Committee) to testify exclusively on the unprecedented border security crisis. I am writing again to reiterate my request.”
The letter goes on to clearly state the purpose of the request, adding, “Also, as you are aware, articles for your impeachment were filed in the House of Representatives and were referred to the Committee in November. Accordingly, we have initiated impeachment proceedings, of which your testimony will be a part.”
In a written response to the invitation from the committee reviewed by Breitbart Texas, the Secretary did not offer an alternative time to testify as the committee moves forward with hearing from other witnesses.
“In keeping with the Secretary’s commitment to cooperate with Congressional Committees, he will make himself available to testify before the Committee,” the DHS letter (attached below) states. The secretary did not commit to when that might be. “we look forward to working through the details with Committee staff and agreeing upon the date and structure of the hearing,” the letter continued.
The impeachment hearings are scheduled for the week of January 15.
In his statement on Mayorkas’s refusal to attend, Chairman Greene said:
It is deeply troubling that Secretary Mayorkas has refused the Committee’s multiple requests to appear before a co-equal branch of government. For months, we have tried to work with his office to secure his testimony before the Committee so the American people can receive some much-needed transparency about the causes, costs, and consequences of the unprecedented border crisis.
It’s certainly telling that one of the primary excuses Secretary Mayorkas gave us for declining to appear next week is that he must host a delegation of Mexican officials. Yet again, this Secretary is putting the interests of Mexico ahead of the American people. Apparently, he needs to be reminded that Congress is a co-equal branch of government, and our Committee, not Mexico, has oversight over his department.
In a letter to the committee declining the invitation, Mayorkas touted his numerous visits to the border, citing his visit to Eagle Pass, Texas, on Monday as an example. The small Texas border town has routinely been the epicenter of the border crisis and has suffered devastating impacts that other cities across the southwest border have experienced during surges in migrant crossings.
In December, DHS closed the border city’s import rail line and one of two official ports of entry connecting the city with Piedras Negras, Mexico. For more than a week, the second busiest rail line for imports within the state of Texas was closed due to a border surge that saw more than 22,000 migrant apprehensions during the third week of December alone.
Although the ports have since reopened, the closures, according to city officials, resulted in the loss of crucial cross-border shopping dollars to merchants on both sides of the border. The city relies heavily on toll fees collected from both international bridges to Mexico, which fund more than 50 percent of the city’s annual budget.
Recently, Committee Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) joined Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) and more than 60 other House Republican colleagues for a border tour in Eagle Pass to see firsthand the aftermath of the surge of migrants across the Rio Grande in recent weeks.
At a press conference after the border tour, Chairman Green told reporters, “The greatest domestic threat to the national security and the safety of the American people is Secretary Alejandra Mayorkas. He, through his policies, has defied and subverted the laws passed by the United States Congress. He has defied multiple court orders. He has lied numerous times to the U.S. Congress. He has, under oath, stated things that were blatantly and obviously incorrect.”
According to Customs and Border Protection, a record of more than 7.3 million migrants were apprehended by the Border Patrol along the southwest border with Mexico under Mayorkas tenure. Mayorkas admitted in a recent news interview that as many as 70 percent have been released to pursue asylum claims in the United States. According to unofficial reports reviewed by Breitbart Texas, more than 1.7 million known got-aways were also recorded during Mayorkas’s time at the helm of DHS.