McCarthy calls on Mayorkas to resign or face potential impeachment probe: ‘Enough is enough’
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday called for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign over his handling of the migrant crisis on the southern border, or potentially face an impeachment inquiry when Republicans take control of the House next year.
Their actions have produced the largest wave of illegal immigration in recorded history,” McCarthy said at a news conference in El Paso, Texas, during a tour of the southern border. “That’s why today I’m asking the secretary the resignation”.
“It cannot and must not remain in this position,” he said. “If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign, House Republicans will investigate every order, every action and every failure to determine whether we can open an impeachment inquiry.”
McCarthy said he had spoken with Reps. Jim Jordan and James Comer, the top Republicans on the Judiciary and Oversight Committees, and said they have his full support for investigating the “collapse” of the border.
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“Those responsible for this disaster will be held accountable,” he said.
McCarthy was leading a delegation to the southern border in El Paso, Texas, days after Republicans won a majority in the upcoming Congress in the House of Representatives. Before that news conference, McCarthy told Fox News that if he becomes president, he plans to hold border hearings in Congress physically at the border, a move he says will force Democrats to see firsthand the ongoing border crisis.
A growing number of Republicans have called for Mayorkas’ impeachment over his handling of the border crisis, which has hit the border since early 2021. There were more than 1.7 million migrant encounters in fiscal year 2021 and more than 2.3 million in fiscal year 2022. 2023 isn’t shaping up to provide much relief to overwhelmed border communities, with more than 230,000 migrant encounters in October, the highest number for an October years. Meanwhile, there has been a daily average of more than 2,500 “breakouts” that have gotten past Border Patrol agents.
“I’m going to go down, I’m going to sit down with the Border Patrol agents, I’m going to learn firsthand what’s going on today because I don’t trust what Secretary Mayorkas has told the nation,” McCarthy said before the trip.
Republicans have pointed directly to Mayorkas as the focal point of the Biden administration’s leadership on the crisis. The secretary has angered Republicans by repeatedly claiming the border is “secure,” as his agency has also claimed the border is “closed.”
Republicans have accused the administration of fueling the crisis by rolling back Trump-era border policies, such as the stay-in-Mexico policy, as well as scaling back domestic enforcement. In July, House Republicans released a plan for how they would secure the border, which included reinstating policies like the Remain in Mexico policy, which kept migrants in Mexico while their immigration applications were processed.
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The Biden administration has blamed the crisis on a combination of root causes such as violence, poverty and climate change in Central America, as well as the Trump administration’s abolition of legal avenues. It has touted its efforts to combat smuggling operations, including more than 5,000 arrests in a recent operation, while working with other countries on solutions. He has recently announced cooperation with Mexico that sees the return of Venezuelan nationals under Title 42, as well as the creation of more checkpoints to stop migration to the north.
However, that expansion of Title 42 will end next month after a federal judge found the order illegal and ordered it lifted. Mayorkas said there is a plan to deal with the end of the order, including greater use of other methods of removal, in response to concerns that the end of Title 42 could lead to more migrants crossing in the USA
In last week’s hearings, Mayorkas said the entire hemisphere is suffering from a migration crisis.
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“The entire hemisphere is suffering from a migration crisis. We are seeing an unprecedented movement of people from one country to another. It is not limited to the southern border,” he told lawmakers at a Senate hearing.
DHS was recently hit by a mini leadership crisis when Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Chris Magnus resigned after Mayorkas told him to resign or be fired.
Meanwhile, the White House on Tuesday pushed back on McCarthy’s trip to the border and, despite the framework issued by Republicans in July, said Republicans have no plan to resolve the crisis.
“McCarthy has no plan. The Republican Party has no plan. They are doing nothing but political stunts,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.
Anders Hagstrom of Fox News contributed to this report.