Some House Republicans fear that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas may get off the hook for his alleged mishandling of the U.S. border due to the new impeachment inquiry into President Biden.
While House Republicans are overwhelmingly in favor of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s newly announced impeachment inquiry, the House Oversight Committee has also been digging into Mayorkas for months. Lawmakers have repeatedly blasted the Biden administration official for his role in the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“With Mayorkas, it grows worse and worse by the day,” Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said Monday. “I am worried that it’s going to go by the wayside.”
Other members of the Oversight Committee and Homeland Security Committee have echoed the sentiment.
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“This does shift the focus in our long-standing efforts to hold the administration accountable for the failures of the southern border,” Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, told Punchbowl News.
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Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, admitted to the outlet that it would be “tough” to impeach Biden and Mayorkas at the same time.
Fellow Texas Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson said he hopes the party does not “get too distracted” with Biden’s proceedings and let Mayorkas off easy.
Earlier in September, the House Homeland Security Committee released a report accusing Mayorkas of ceding control of the southern border to Mexican cartels.
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Committee Chairman Mark Green launched an investigation into Mayorkas’ conduct and handling of the southern border crisis earlier this year, as the DHS chief faced a barrage of criticism from Republicans over the border crisis that has seen record encounters at the border, where encounters remain high.
“The massive increase in the number of people now traveling up through Mexico on their way to the Southwest border represents a historic business opportunity for the cartels, as each person is someone off whom they can profit,” the report said, also finding that the surge of individuals has taken Border Patrol agents off the beat to process migrants instead, leaving broad stretches of the border open to cartel exploitation.
“Americans must understand the sheer control these organizations exert over the flow of illegal aliens and illicit drugs across the Southwest border, and how they profit from it all. The cartels control smuggling routes throughout Mexico and exert near-complete control on the movement of individuals through that country, particularly at and near the Southwest border,” the report continued.
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Mayorkas has rejected accusations of wrongdoing, however, pointing to the Biden administration’s efforts to combat fentanyl smuggling and transnational gangs.
“We seized nearly 2 million pounds of narcotics last fiscal year. Operations Blue, Lotus and Four Horsemen alone stopped nearly 10,000 pounds of fentanyl from the U.S., led to 284 arrests, and yielded invaluable insights into the transnational criminal organizations wreaking this death and destruction on our communities,” Mayorkas told lawmakers in July.