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By Sarah May on
 February 20, 2023

DHS Secretary Mayorkas: There is more than one definition of a 'secure' border

Amid talk of his possible impeachment, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently sat down with CNN host Chris Wallace, and when grilled about the persistent crisis at the southern border, explained that he prioritizes ensuring that the U.S. is a “nation of immigrants” and asserted that there is more than one definition of a “secure border,” as the Daily Caller reports.

The prospect of impeachment has followed Mayorkas for quite some time, with Republican Reps. Pat Fallon (R-TX) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) both filing their own respective articles of impeachment in recent months

One of the primary grounds cited in support of impeaching Mayorkas has long been that he has misled Congress as well as the American public by declaring in sworn testimony that the southern border is secure.

Biggs articulated a number of other reasons for potentially ousting Mayorkas, saying in a statement, “Every day Secretary Mayorkas remains in office America becomes less safe. Secretary Mayorkas is the chief architect of the migration and drug invasion at our southern border. His policies have incentivized more than 5 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,” Biggs added.

During their recent sit-down, Wallace asked Mayorkas to answer critics – such as Fallon and Biggs – who allege that the border is far from secure, Mayorkas took the tack that there is more than one definition that applies to that concept and made vague reference to the country's “values.”

“There is not a common definition of that. If one looks at [Congress'] statutory definition, the literal interpretation of the statutory language, if one person successfully evades law enforcement at the border, then we have breached the security of the border,” Mayorkas said.

“Our goal is to achieve operational control of the border, to do everything that we can to support our personnel with the resources, the technology, the policies, that really advance the security of the border, and do not come at the cost of the values of our country,” the secretary continued.

Mayorkas then said, “We, in the United States, have tremendous pride in our country as a country, a place of refuge. We are a nation of immigrants. We are also a nation of laws. Those laws provide for humanitarian relief for those who qualify.”

Surprisingly, Wallace questioned Mayorkas why he would support such a pro-immigration approach when the influx of the past two years has had demonstratively negative effects on American citizens, and the secretary was unapologetic in his response.

“My parents instilled in me the profound meaning of displacement, the yearning to give one's children a better life than what the life one has had, [and] the fragility of life. And so I understand deeply the plight of individuals who will leave their homes, whether they flee persecution or aspire to a better life,” Mayorkas replied defiantly.

As The Hill notes, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called upon Mayorkas to voluntarily resign back in November, adding that he was willing to allow congressional investigations to unfold to determine whether an impeachment inquiry should follow.

Along those lines, Republican Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) have already launched hearings on Mayorkas' handling of the border, but it remains to be seen whether an official impeachment inquiry – let alone a trial – will ultimately result.

Speaking to Wallace on the specter of his removal or of additional resignation demands, Mayorkas stood firm, saying, “They will not force me out,” adding of those pursuing impeachment, “I take them seriously. It is the leadership of the House [responsible for the possibility]. I don't dismiss it by any measure, but what I do is focus on my work.” Whether he will be doing that much longer, however, only time will tell.

Written By:
Sarah May

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