Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee released a scathing report on Wednesday evening accusing DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of intentional “dereliction of duty” in securing the nation’s borders.
The GOP interim report claims Mr. Mayorkas has “actively encouraged and facilitated mass illegal immigration,” neglecting his sworn oath to “control and guard” the borders. The investigation, initiated earlier under Chair Mark Green (R-Tenn.), comes amid criticism of the administration’s handling of the border crisis.
“Over the past two years, Mayorkas has repeatedly ignored or refused to enforce immigration laws passed by Congress, ended commonsense, effective border security policies, implemented an open-borders agenda that has spread millions of illegal aliens throughout the United States, and continuously misled Congress and the American people about his actions and the nature of the border crisis sparked by his policies,” the report states (pdf).
The report states that Mr. Mayorkas is the “chief architect” of the illegal immigration crisis that began when President Joe Biden took office in 2021. It alleges he “either willfully sparked the current crisis through his extreme and irresponsible policies, or … that he is negligent in his duties.”
“Either way, he has been derelict in his duty to secure the border, defend the homeland, and keep the American people safe, violating his oath to defend the Constitution and faithfully discharge the duties of his office,” the report states.
The committee concluded that Mr. Mayorkas’s alleged dereliction of duty “has been intentional” because his actions and policies were not grounded in laws passed by Congress that work in the best interest of the American people.
According to the report, one of the main concerns is the misuse of humanitarian parole. Mr. Mayorkas is accused of expanding its use beyond the scope defined by the law, which has raised questions about the proper application of this process.
“Mayorkas has wantonly flouted the statute’s clear language by granting parole to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, creating and maintaining parole programs for certain nationality groups, and by using parole in a way inconsistent with the statute, as a means to relieve the Biden administration from the embarrassing optics of overcrowded Border Patrol facilities—facilities overwhelmed by his own policies,” the report states.
Laws and Orders Ignored: Report
Furthermore, the report highlights Mr. Mayorkas’s alleged disregard for court orders related to the reinstatement of Trump-era policies and requirements for the detention of illegal immigrants.
Another contentious issue raised in the report is the cancellation of certain policies deemed effective, including the termination of border wall construction, Title 42, and the Migrant Protection Protocols.
In contrast to the cancellation of certain policies, Mr. Mayorkas has been accused of implementing measures that appear to favor illegal immigrants. The restrictive guidance given to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is one such policy that has come under scrutiny.
“Under the new guidance issued in February 2021, Mayorkas’s DHS made it clear that only select groups of illegal aliens were legitimate targets for arrest and removal,” the report states.
This guidance reportedly coincided with a significant decrease in deportations and increased use of catch-and-release practices, sparking concerns about border security and immigration enforcement.
The report also states that Mr. Mayorkas’s department set and achieved historically low targets for removing illegal aliens.
“He has even told ICE agents that an alien’s unlawful presence in the country is no longer sufficient grounds to remove them, despite the clear language of the law saying otherwise,” the report states. “He has even flouted the orders of a co-equal branch of government, refusing to fully and faithfully comply with a federal court order requiring him to reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols.”
Finally, the report accuses Mr. Mayorkas of flouting a federal court order that required the reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols. This raises concerns about the department’s compliance with legal mandates and judicial decisions.
The Biden administration has attributed a drop in numbers arriving at the southern border to new measures that replaced Title 42 in May. The policy represented a historic expansion of the use of parole to expand lawful immigration pathways—combined with an asylum rule which limits migrants from claiming asylum if they enter illegally and fail to claim asylum at a country through which they already passed.
On Wednesday, a DHS spokesperson said Mr. Mayorkas was “proud” to have played a role in advancing the department’s “noble mission” and support its workforce.
“The Department will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border, protect the United States from terrorism, and improve our cybersecurity, all while building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system,” the spokesperson said in a statement, Fox News reported.
“Instead of pointing fingers and pursuing a baseless impeachment, Congress should work with the Department and pass comprehensive legislation to fix our broken immigration system, which has not been updated in decades,” the spokesperson said.
The interim report published Wednesday is not the end of the GOP scrutiny of Mr. Mayorkas, with the committee’s investigation moving onto a new phase, according to the report. The DHS secretary will also likely face a grilling next week at a House Judiciary Committee hearing he will attend.