With calls for the impeachment of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas increasing in volume, as the Washington Examiner reports, President Joe Biden could soon find himself in the position of having to name a replacement.
The latest calls for Mayorkas' ouster have come from Republican Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, who made her wishes known in a letter to Congress in which she asked legislators to “begin impeachment proceedings immediately” against the DHS head.
In support of her ask, Moody referenced her belief that Mayorkas has committed violations of federal law, has lied under oath to congressional committees regarding the security situation at the border, and is engaging in conduct that actively endangers the lives of Americans.
Moody also made explicit reference to an opinion recently issued by a federal judge in a lawsuit she successfully filed against the Biden administration's controversial catch-and-release policy whereby migrants are released into the country's interior after apprehension, rather than deported.
As the AG noted, U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell declared that policy unlawful and said that the Biden administration has “effectively turned the Southwest Border into a meaningless line in the sand and little more than a speedbump for aliens flooding into the country by prioritizing 'alternatives to detention' over actual detention and by releasing more than a million aliens into the country...without even initiating removal proceedings.”
Wetherell also noted that the policies being administered by Mayorkas “were akin to posting a flashing 'Come In, We're Open' sign on the southern border.” He added, “The unprecedented 'surge' of aliens that started arriving at the Southwest Border almost immediately after President Biden took office and that has continued unabated over the past two years was a predictable consequence of these actions.”
In Moody's estimation, if Mayorkas “is unwilling to do the patriotic thing and resign his position, then Congress must initiate impeachment proceedings to get rid of this threat to our national security.”
The Florida AG is by no means the only high-profile official who has called for Mayorkas' impeachment and ouster, as Reps. Pat Fallon (R-TX) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) respectively filed articles earlier this year attempting to achieve that very same result.
Fallon, for his part, declared, “It is unfortunate that we have gotten to this point, but it is necessary.” the congressman added of Mayorkas, “He was willfully abdicated his duties as Secretary of Homeland Security and actively misled Congress and the American people. To make any progress at our southern border, he must go.”
Biggs took a similar tack, saying in a statement, “Secretary Mayorkas is the chief architect of the migration and drug invasion at our southern border. His policies have incentivized more than five million illegal aliens to show up at our southern border – an all-time figure. Instead of enforcing the laws on the books and deporting or detaining these illegal aliens, the vast majority of them are released into the interior and never heard from again.”
Politico reported earlier this year that in possible anticipation of eventual impeachment proceedings, DHS entered into a contract with high-powered law firm Deveboise & Plimpton, which is slated to represent both the agency itself as well as Mayorkas in his official capacity.
When the move was announced, a DHS spokesperson said, “The Department of Homeland Security has retained outside counsel to help ensure that the department's vital mission is not interrupted by the unprecedented, unjustified, and partisan impeachment efforts by some Members of Congress, who have already taken steps to initiate proceedings.”
Politico was also told that the agency does “not want this to distract the secretary or the department from the important homeland security work that we do day to day,” and noted that DHS lacks in-house attorneys possessing the type of specific impeachment defense experience the firm's lawyers have.
With the drumbeat for Mayorkas' impeachment seemingly growing louder by the day, it could be that those attorneys will find themselves busy very soon – and Biden may be on the hunt for a new Cabinet-level official.