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‘We’ve got a major problem’: Senate Dems say the border isn’t secure but defend Mayorkas for saying otherwise


Daily Caller News Foundation

Several Democratic senators admitted to the Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday that the U.S.-Mexico border isn’t secure, but defended Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ previous claim to the contrary.

Mayorkas was impeached by the House of Representatives on Feb. 13 on two articles relating to his alleged “wilful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and “breach of the public trust” in his leadership of U.S. border security policy, where illegal migrant encounters have exceeded six million people. Senate Democrats on Tuesday defended Mayorkas against questions of whether he lied to Congress in recent testimony that the border was secure, and attempted to blame Republicans for not acting on border security legislation they previously proposed.

“It is my testimony that the border is secure, and we are working every day and night to increase its security. The challenges that we are experiencing at the border cannot be overstated,” Mayorkas told the House Homeland Security Committee on April 19, 2023. At the time, Mayorkas was accused by the chairman of the committee, Republican Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee, of lying under oath.

Senate Democrats denied that Mayorkas lied, even as they claimed the border is not secure.

“Of course it isn’t,” Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona told the DCNF, responding to whether the border is secure. When asked whether Mayorkas lied, he said “absolutely not, and it’s ridiculous that the House has done this completely partisan exercise [of impeachment]. That’s a waste of time. What they should be doing is passing our bipartisan border security bill.”

Kelly refers to a bipartisan bill negotiated by Democratic and Republican senators, published on Feb. 4, that would have enacted reforms to border security and immigration policy as well as funded military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The bill was defeated on a procedural vote in the Senate after some Republicans objected to its provisions.

“I do not [think the border is secure] but I think that Mayorkas is part of the solution,” Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia told the DCNF. “If GOP was serious, they would have done the bipartisan deal that we negotiated … Mayorkas helped negotiate that deal at the request of the Republicans. They know he’s got solutions. They just refuse to embrace them,” Kaine added while declining to comment on whether lied to Congress.

Republicans had objected to the bipartisan bill’s provisions that appeared to tolerate up to 5,000 illegal crossings of the border per day until emergency measures could be enacted. Several also criticized the bill’s provisions to grant Employment Authorization Documents, commonly called “work permits” to asylum claimants as well as the length of the bill.

“We’ve got a major problem at the border, and that’s why this bipartisan bill would have been a great step forward,” Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania told the DCNF. Casey denied being aware of Mayorkas’ testimony, a response echoed by his colleagues Angus King of Maine and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

“No,” Democratic Sen. Peter Welch of Vermont told the DCNF, when asked whether the border is secure. He replied with the same answer when asked if Mayorkas’ testimony to the contrary was false.

The House’s impeachment managers will present the articles against Mayorkas to the Senate on April 10, which Democrats reportedly plan to dismiss without a trial. Mayorkas is only the second cabinet official in U.S. history to have been impeached, the first being William Belknap in 1876.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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