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Tipsheet

House Republicans Highlight 'Grave Questions' of DHS Secretary's 'Suitability for Office'

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

More than 130 Republican members of the House of Representatives put Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on notice again in a letter Monday morning as the Biden administration's open-border policies continue to wreak havoc. 

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Calling Mayorkas out for his "actions to dismantle the security of our nation's southern border" and noting that he's "willingly endangered American citizens and undermined the rule of law and our nation's sovereignty," the House Republicans say his "failure to secure the border and enforce laws passed by Congress raises grave questions" about Mayorkas' "suitability for office."

The letter's signers include House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA), Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (NY), Whip Steve Scalise (LA), Republican Study Committee Chair Jim Banks (IN), and House Border Security Caucus Co-Chairman Brian Babin (TX). 

Outlining the successful Trump-era immigration and border policies that Mayorkas and others in the Biden administration have eliminated to the detriment of America's national security, the Republicans say Biden's DHS chief has shown "a willful disregard for the law and the principles of separation of powers." Mayorkas, the letter points out, was "specifically instructed" by a federal court to implement Migrant Protection Protocols — a.k.a Remain in Mexico — in "good faith" or "take new agency action that complied with the law." But Mayorkas hasn't done either. 

"This callous disregard for the judiciary and willful refusal to properly apply the law raises questions about your commitment to protecting the homeland," the Republicans say in the letter that lists off other instances in which Mayorkas has ignored laws passed by Congress, including the border wall. "Rather than faithfully executing the law, you instead unilaterally terminated existing contracts for the constructions of border barriers," the letter notes. "Congress has authorized and appropriated funds to secure the southern border; it is not within your power to simply decide the power of the purse now belongs to the Secretary of Homeland Security."

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The letter concludes with a demand for answers on border security within 30 days: 

1. Do you agree that section 235 (b)(1) and 235 (b)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act mandates that inadmissible aliens shall be detained, including those who have entered illegally?

a. If you believe you can release them, under what authorities are you releasing those individuals?

2. Section (2)(a) of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 requires you to "achieve and maintain operational control" over the southern border. Operational control is defined as "the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband." Please provide details on how the Department is in compliance with Section (2)(a) of the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

3. How much has it cost the Department of Homeland Security to cancel, pause, or otherwise halt construction of physical barriers along the southern border authorized and appropriated by law?

While he's been willing to admit the border is out of hand and fret about additional surges of illegal immigrants when Title 42 is terminated behind closed doors, Mayorkas has maintained the Biden administration's laughable claim that the U.S.-Mexico border is under control and "closed." 

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But as Katie, Guy, and Julio are seeing again first-hand this week while embedded with Texas' Operation Lone Star, the border is anything but closed.

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