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Fox News
Fox News
22 Feb 2024

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Members of Congress have promised to "hold accountable" those in power so often that the phrase has become hollow. Exhibit A: Alejandro Mayorkas. For many months, the Secretary of Homeland Security has dodged responsibility for his direct implementation of a historic border crisis.

Until now.

On Feb. 13, the House successfully impeached Mayorkas for the irreparable damage he has done to U.S. sovereignty, security, and the rule of law. Now it’s the Senate’s turn to hold Mayorkas accountable by conducting a legitimate impeachment trial to examine the evidence in detail in front of the American people.


The House’s first article of impeachment was for Mayorkas’s willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law. As a "civil Officer" of the United States, Mayorkas does not get to pick and choose which laws to enforce and which to ignore, and he certainly does not have the right to actually violate the law. Yet that’s what he’s done for three dangerous and chaotic years.

Consider his own admissions. He bragged in a 2022 CBS interview about "fundamentally chang[ing] immigration enforcement," stating "For the first time ever, our policy explicitly states an [illegal alien’s] unlawful presence in the United States will not, by itself, be a basis for the initiation of an enforcement action."

Mayorkas at Eagle Pass press conference

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas holds a press conference at a U.S. Border Patrol station on January 8, 2024, in Eagle Pass, Texas. The result of Mayorkas’s mass parole and refusal to detain or remove the vast majority of encountered illegal aliens has resulted in an unfathomable 10.7 million encounters and known "got-aways."  (John Moore/Getty Images)

This is a willful and systemic violation of section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which states that "any alien … shall … be removed if the alien is within one or more of the following classes of deportable aliens," including being inadmissible at the time of entry.

Not "some" aliens. "Any alien." Not "may" be removed. "Shall be removed."

He also recently admitted that over 85% of inadmissible aliens encountered by Customs and Border Protection have been released into the U.S. Not only is this a wholesale violation of section 237, it’s an intentional violation of sections 235 and 236 of the INA, which require mandatory detention for aliens who: (1) are awaiting a determination of the legitimacy of their asylum claim and, if found not to be legitimate, until they are removed from the country; (2) an immigration officer determines are not entitled to admission until they can be removed; and (3) are deportable for having committed crimes or for terrorist activity.


Furthermore, Mayorkas has flagrantly and systemically violated section 212(d)(5) of the INA, which gives the Secretary very limited discretion to temporarily parole an inadmissible alien into the country "only on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit." Mayorkas has created and maintained dozens of parole programs based on nationality, through which he has mass paroled tens of thousands of inadmissible aliens each month and provided them work authorization, something Congress did not authorize.

Mayorkas’s parole programs violate each factor of section 212(d)(5): they are not case-by-case, they are not for urgent humanitarian reasons, they advance no significant public benefit, and by granting parolees work authorization, they are not meant to be temporary.

The result of Mayorkas’s mass parole and refusal to detain or remove the vast majority of encountered illegal aliens has resulted in an unfathomable 10.7 million encounters and known "got-aways." By knowingly overwhelming border agents and ordering them to process and release millions of illegal and inadmissible aliens into the country, Mayorkas has deliberately endangered the public safety of Americans and imposed huge costs on state and local governments and communities.

Mayorkas is well aware that agents cannot adequately vet all those they encounter, let alone the over 1.8 million who evaded the Border Patrol. Mayorkas also knows that among them come known and suspected terrorists, convicted aggravated felons, serial rapists, pedophiles, dangerous gang members, human traffickers, and huge amounts of fentanyl and other illicit drugs.

Mayorkas has had three years to change course to secure the border and protect Americans, but he hasn’t. Instead, he’s only grown more deceitful about his operations. He has hid from Americans night flights to secretly dump illegal aliens into unprepared American communities. He has given billions of U.S. tax dollars to secretive NGOs that operate an extensive infrastructure intended to facilitate the entry and lengthy residence of illegal aliens in the country, while refusing to answer questions when confronted.

Mayorkas told Americans that border crossings were down in early 2023, while playing a con game, using the CBP Mobile One App to automate the entry of mass parolees through ports of entry. And now, he demands more taxpayer dollars in a supplemental funding package to refill the NGOs’ empty coffers and pay off the sanctuary cities that are sheltering illegal aliens.

Americans deserve a real Senate impeachment trial of Alejandro Mayorkas. Dismissing or tabling the impeachment, sending it to a trial committee to languish, or holding a one-day trial would all be unacceptable options.

If Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer does that, he would be covering up evidence of fundamental wrongdoing and violating the public trust. And any senator who helps him—including Republicans—would be complicit in a coverup that tries to hide the dangerous misconduct of one of the worst officials to ever serve in the federal government. 

Lora Ries is the director of The Heritage Foundation’s Border Security and Immigration Center.