Skip to main content

Border Crisis Takes Center Stage on Capitol Hill as House Sends Mayorkas Impeachment to Senate

Share This article

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The impeachment trial for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas begins Wednesday.  House Republicans accuse him of violating the Constitution by refusing to enforce border security laws, so they've voted to send articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate.

The trial isn't expected to last long. Democrats control the Senate and will likely vote to either table the issue or dismiss it altogether. 

Meanwhile, some of the House Republicans who have been leading the charge in Mayorkas' impeachment took the opportunity to grill him, Tuesday, when he visited Capitol Hill to seek money for his department. 

The scheduled appropriations discussion turned into more of a trial run of what could be expected from any Senate impeachment proceeding.

Lawmakers immediately fired accusations against Secretary Mayorkas, including that he failed to fulfill his oath to protect the United States. 

"You have refused to follow laws passed by Congress and you have breached the public trust. You facilitated record levels of illegal immigrants since your first day in office," Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) said during his opening statements.

Secretary Mayorkas, however, attempted to turn the table on his accusers, saying lawmakers are responsible for changing the overall immigration system as well as providing more resources for Homeland Security.

"Congress has not updated our immigration enforcement laws since 1996, 28 years ago. And only Congress can deliver on our need for more border patrol agents, asylum officers, immigration judges, facilities, and technology," the Secretary said.

"In that claim for, 'more resources, so that we can adhere to the laws,' you're actually, in this budget, decreasing the requested ICE detention beds. That seems to me to be illogical," countered Rep. Green.

Meanwhile, the House Oversight Committee looked into how the border crisis is impacting public safety. 

"Not surprisingly the open border has attracted many illegal immigrants with criminal histories," said committee Chairman, Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI). 

Witnesses included sheriffs from Texas and Virginia, who say two major issues facing law enforcement stem from an open border: Fentanyl and an influx of illegal immigrants. 

"The impact on our county jail is that we have an average population of 4,200 people, six percent of that population is generally illegal aliens. Of that 264 in custody, they've allegedly committed 178 violent crimes, including eight murders and 44 sexual assaults of children," said Terrant County, Texas Sheriff Bill Waybourn. 

"In Loudoun County, we average about 150 overdoses per year and about 24 deaths. Unfortunately, we have seen a significant increase in juvenile drug use and overdoses," said Loudoun County, Virginia Sheriff Mike Chapman. 

Democrats tried to redirect that conversation too, arguing that according to law enforcement data, U.S. citizens commit a majority of all violent crimes. 

But former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli countered that crimes committed by those entering the country illegally are extremely hard to track and that the border chaos, directly contributing to crime and human suffering, could be prevented.

"Every illegal entry into the U.S. is a crime. The crime rate among illegal immigrants is 100 percent every one of them committed a crime when they entered illegally," said Cuccinelli. 

During the budget hearing, Mayorkas told lawmakers that anyone deemed as a threat to national security is at risk of detention and removal. 

When asked if he could ensure no members of terrorist organizations have been granted parole on his watch, however, he refused to answer. 

Share This article

About The Author

Caitlin Burke Headshot

Caitlin Burke serves as National Security Correspondent and a general assignment reporter for CBN News. She has also hosted the CBN News original podcast, The Daily Rundown. Some of Caitlin’s recent stories have focused on the national security threat posed by China, America’s military strength, and vulnerabilities in the U.S. power grid. She joined CBN News in July 2010, and over the course of her career, she has had the opportunity to cover stories both domestically and abroad. Caitlin began her news career working as a production assistant in Richmond, Virginia, for the NBC affiliate WWBT