Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas declined a request from the House Committee on Homeland Security to testify on Thursday regarding his management of the migration crisis along the southwest border.
Committee Chairman Mark E. Green criticized Mayorkas for rejecting the latest invitation and cited the secretary's multiple refusals to appear in previous invitations, which included offering various dates for a historic impeachment hearing.
It couldn't be more obvious that Secretary Mayorkas has no interest in fulfilling his oath of office.
— House Homeland GOP (@HomelandGOP) January 12, 2024
The most recent invitation, issued on January 5, 2024, proposed Mayorkas' appearance on January 18, 2024.
In the letter, Chairman Green expressed dissatisfaction with Mayorkas's past declinations and emphasized the ongoing impeachment proceedings initiated in November, stating, "We have initiated impeachment proceedings, of which your testimony will be a part."
Mayorkas's written response did not propose an alternative time for testimony but assured cooperation, stating, "In keeping with the Secretary’s commitment to cooperate with Congressional Committees, he will make himself available to testify before the Committee."
The letter expressed a willingness to coordinate details with the Committee staff for the hearing's date and structure.
The impeachment hearings are scheduled for the week of January 15. Chairman Green expressed concern over Mayorkas's refusal, highlighting the committee's efforts to gain transparency on the causes, costs, and consequences of the border crisis.
Green criticized Mayorkas for prioritizing a delegation of Mexican officials over appearing before a co-equal branch of government.
Mayorkas, in his letter declining the invitation, highlighted his visits to the border, including a recent one to Eagle Pass, Texas. The city has been severely impacted by the border crisis, experiencing closures of its import rail line and official ports of entry in December, resulting in economic losses for both sides of the border.
Mayorkas defended his actions and policies during his tenure, but Chairman Green labeled him the "greatest domestic threat" due to alleged defiance of laws, court orders, and misinformation under oath.
Customs and Border Protection reported a record of over 7.3 million migrants apprehended along the southwest border under Mayorkas's tenure, with a significant number released to pursue asylum claims. Unofficial reports suggest over 1.7 million known "got-aways" during Mayorkas's time as DHS head.