FIRST ON FOX: State attorneys general from the heartland will testify at the first impeachment hearing of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday, Fox News Digital has learned — and will describe the effect the ongoing migrant crisis has had on their states, despite their distance from the besieged border.
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond and Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey will testify about the impacts of the crisis on their states, as well as the legal challenges they have launched against the Biden administration’s policies. They are also expected to describe how they believe Mayorkas is not enforcing the law.
The hearing on Wednesday, “Havoc in the Heartland: How Secretary Mayorkas’ Failed Leadership Has Impacted the States,” marks the first impeachment hearing after a year of investigations and reports by the House Homeland Security Committee which looked at the handling of the nearly three-year migrant crisis.
HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE SETS FIRST MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT HEARING
Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., conducts a news conference ahead of the House Homeland Security Committee hearing to “Examine Secretary Mayorkas Dereliction of Duty,” in Cannon Building on Wednesday, June 14, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
The House voted to refer impeachment articles to the committee in November, and on Wednesday the committee will now take up that process. It comes as border numbers have hit a new record, with over 302,000 migrant encounters in December.
“Secretary Mayorkas’ unprecedented and intentional border crisis has impacted every city and state in our country,” Chairman Mark Green said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “The chaos and devastation at the border and in our communities are the result of Alejandro Mayorkas’ failure to fulfill his oath as secretary of Homeland Security. His primary responsibility is to secure the homeland—and he has failed.”
Republicans say that Mayorkas has failed to enforce immigration law, including those related to the parole, removal and detention of illegal immigrants, as well as having created new programs that contravene Congress.
“Who better to testify about the fallout from this crisis than the top legal officers of states in our heartland?” Green said. “These officials will not only speak to the consequences of this crisis for their states, but the various legal challenges they have mounted in response to Secretary Mayorkas’ failure to do his job and enforce the law. I look forward to their testimony.”
The Biden administration and House Democrats have pushed back against the GOP impeachment effort. While Republicans have blamed the historic crisis on Biden-era policies, as well as the rolling back of Trump policies like wall construction and stricter enforcement, the administration says it is dealing with a hemisphere-wide crisis and needs more funding and comprehensive immigration reform from Congress.
DHS told Fox News Digital last week that the “House majority is wasting valuable time and taxpayer dollars pursuing a baseless political exercise that has been rejected by members of both parties and already failed on a bipartisan vote.”
“There is no valid basis to impeach Secretary Mayorkas, as senior members of the House majority have attested, and this extreme impeachment push is a harmful distraction from our critical national security priorities,” spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg said. “Secretary Mayorkas and the Department of Homeland Security will continue working every day to keep Americans safe.”
Ranking Member Bennie Thompson described the “extreme MAGA Republican effort” to impeach Mayorkas as “completely baseless.”
BIDEN ADMIN EYES MORE DEPORTATION FLIGHTS TO VENEZUELA AS MIGRANT NUMBERS SHATTER RECORDS
July 26, 2023: DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies to the House Judiciary Committee. (Screenshot)
“They’ve only shown the American people it is nothing more than a political stunt without any foundation in the Constitution. It was never meant to be a legitimate investigation – only a MAGA spectacle,” he said.
Meanwhile, talks are ongoing in Congress about the White House’s supplemental funding bill, which includes money for the border as well as for Ukraine and Israel.
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Republicans in both chambers have demanded that any funding include limits on asylum and the release of migrants into the interior. While the administration is reportedly open to some concessions, it is unclear if it will go far enough for Republicans in the House — who have called for the GOP border security bill passed last year to be included in full.