By: Bethany Blankley | The Center Square contributor
The U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security released a report detailing what it says are the failures of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Entitled “Dereliction of Duty,” the phase 1 interim report is believed to be a roadmap to potential impeachment charges that could be levied against Mayorkas. The 112-page report defines dereliction of duty, and lists the laws and court orders the committee says Mayorkas has “ignored, abused or failed to follow.”
The grievances include a list of alleged violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), including an abuse of the act’s parole program, detention and removal requirements and encouraging illegal entry. Instituting mass parole programs, ignoring federal court orders, and expanding asylum-granting authorities to officials outside of federal law also are on the list.
The report highlights what the committee says were effective policies that were canceled by the Biden administration under Mayorkas, including ending the Migrant Protection Protocols, halting border wall construction, ending asylum cooperative agreements with other countries, reestablishing the Central American Minors Program, and emboldening the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, among others.
The report highlights how DHS policies “are actively benefiting illegal aliens and encouraging mass illegal immigration” through its catch and release policy, CBP One Mobile App “shell game,” restrictive ICE guidance and instituting policies that prohibit Border Patrol agents from pursuing smugglers.
It summarizes Mayorkas’ “vast NGO network” to “spread illegal aliens across the country,” “under the cover of darkness” and releasing them outside of proper procedure.
It lists what the committee says are 20 false claims Mayorkas has made about the border, including, “the border is secure,” “DHS has operational control of the border,” “DHS is enforcing immigration laws,” and is “promptly removing illegal aliens.”
“While no legal definition of ‘dereliction of duty’ applies specifically to presidential Cabinet officials, other areas of the law are instructive,” the report notes, citing the dereliction of duty definition in the Manual for Courts-Martial used by the U.S. military. “A person is derelict in the performance of duties when that person willfully or negligently fails to perform that person’s duties or when that person performs them in a culpably inefficient manner,” it states.
The INA charges the DHS secretary with “the power and duty to control and guard the boundaries and borders of the United States against the illegal entry of aliens.” The committee argues its report demonstrates that Mayorkas “has been, and continues to be, derelict in the solemn duty to secure the nation’s borders, not only by ending policies enacted to ‘control and guard’ America’s borders, but by implementing policies that have actively encouraged and facilitated mass illegal immigration.”
The report claims that Mayorkas is “not an innocent bystander” and has “either willfully sparked the current crisis through his extreme and irresponsible policies, or is such a poorly informed, inefficient and inflexible leader 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.”
In response to the report, a DHS spokesperson said, “Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of the Department, support its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American people. 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.
“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.”
Ranking member Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, also criticized the report in a statement, saying, “Since Extreme MAGA Republicans predetermined months ago they would impeach Secretary Mayorkas, they have been busy trying to manufacture so-called ‘evidence’ to do so. But their cooked-up narrative is not reality.”
The report and hearings come after more than 8 million people have been reported illegally entering the U.S. nationwide, more than the individual populations of 38 states. Port of entry apprehensions are up by 300% from 2020, and in the first nine months of this fiscal year, Border Patrol agents in the busiest northern sector alone apprehended more than they had in the previous seven years combined.
Last month, when CBP reported illegal entries were down, total apprehensions and gotaways totaled at least 175,000. Publicly reported data also appears to exclude the 120,000 additional people coming every month from four countries through a new DHS policy and those being processed in other countries before they ever arrive to the U.S. through another new DHS parole program designed to bring millions more people into the U.S.