On Monday, January 9, Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX-09) filed H. Res. 8, which would impeach Mayorkas on a charge that he “engaged in a pattern of conduct that is incompatible with his duties as an Officer of the United States,” and another charge of perjury before Congress.
Fallon told Fox News that Mayorkas has “undermined law enforcement activities” along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“From perjuring himself before Congress about maintaining operational control of the border to the infamous ‘whip-gate’ slander against our border patrol agents, Secretary Mayorkas has proven time and time again that he is unfit to lead the Department of Homeland Security,” Fallon said.
In the articles of impeachment, Fallon accused Mayorkas of perjuring himself before Congress by claiming that the Department of Homeland Security has “operational control” over the southern border amid record levels of illegal immigration.
The articles also cite the debunked “whipping” allegations that were investigated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
In September 2021, a variety of politicians and others accused border guards of “whipping” illegal immigrants as they responded to a surge of mostly Haitian nationals crossing the Rio Grande. A report by CBP stated that officials discovered no evidence of that assertion.
Before a news conference condemning the agents, Mayorkas had reportedly seen evidence that the allegations were untrue, but condemned them nonetheless. Speaking about photos and videos of the incident in question, which was shown to be a border guard guiding a horse with long reins, Mayorkas said they “conjured up the worst elements of our nation’s ongoing battle against systemic racism.”
The impeachment resolution criticized Mayorkas for making a “disgusting false equivalency to slavery” in his remarks.
In October, Mayorkas virtually forced former Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus to resign after CBP reported more enforcement encounters in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 than in any prior year.
Mayorkas, the White House, and others have ascribed the increase in illegal immigration to factors abroad such as poor economic conditions, tyrannical regimes, and rampant crime. The administration has also contended that immigration policy in the U.S. should be more compassionate than the measures former President Trump implemented.
A spokesperson for Mayorkas commented in a widely published statement, “Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of this Department, support its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American people.”
The U.S. House can only impeach a cabinet member; removal would require conviction by two thirds of the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. The GOP made impeachment of Mayorkas part of its messaging before the election in November.
Congressional Republicans, excepting Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23), proposed a series of sweeping border security measures in December, including increased deportations and designating cartels as foreign terrorist organizations. Legislation to secure the border was part of the compromise that led to the election of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-20).
Meanwhile in Austin, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) listed border security as a priority for the chamber in his opening speech as speaker for the 88th Legislature, which has the task of deciding how much more to spend on Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star.
A copy of Fallon’s resolution can be found below.
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Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."