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Top Republicans question Mayorkas’ role, blast border crisis response

More than 50 Republican members of Congress blasted Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ response to the growing border crisis over the weekend, questioning his actions in the role and “suitability for office.” 

In a letter sent to the secretary on Sunday, the lawmakers claimed his actions have dismantled “the security of our nation’s southern border” and disregards “the enforcement of US immigration laws.” 

“Your actions have willingly endangered American citizens, undermined the rule of law and our nation’s sovereignty. Your failure to secure the border and enforce the laws passed by Congress raise grave questions about your suitability for office,” the Republicans led by Border Security Caucus co-chair Brian Babin (R-Texas) and Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-Ind.) wrote. 

The letter, first obtained by Fox News Digital, was also signed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Minority Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY.)  

The lawmakers pointed to Mayorkas’ rejection of former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, saying it demonstrates his “willingness to embrace an open-borders agenda that undermines America’s safety.” 

The Republican lawmakers claimed Alejandro Mayorkas’ actions have dismantled “the security of our nation’s southern border.”
John Moore/Getty Images

They also criticized the secretary’s decision to halt border wall construction along the southern border with Mexico, claiming the move wasted billions in taxpayers dollars. 

In the letter, the Republicans called on Mayorkas to take “all legal and necessary actions at your disposal – of which there are many – to secure the southern border, rectify the dangerous policies this administration has put in motion over the past year, and bring your agency into compliance with the laws passed by the United States Congress.”

They also have requested the secretary respond to a number of questions within 30 days, including whether he agrees all illegal immigrants should be detained, how much it has cost to stop border wall construction and to provide details on how the Department of Homeland Security is achieving and maintaining operational control over the border. 

Parents-to-be from Haiti stand at a gap in the U.S.-Mexico border wall after having traveled from South America to the United States on December 10, 2021 in Yuma, Arizona.
Republicans requested Alejandro Mayorkas respond to a number of questions within 30 days, including whether he agrees all illegal immigrants should be detained.
John Moore/Getty Images

While Republican lawmakers have long criticized the Administration’s response to the ongoing immigration crisis, Sunday’s letter comes one month before the Title 42 public health order will be formally lifted after first going into effect two years ago. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the order has allowed border officials to quickly expel migrants crossing at the border without hearing claims of asylum. 

Local officials and bipartisan lawmakers fear the number of border crossings will skyrocket after the order is lifted. 

Relieved to have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and having traveled from Brazil, Haitian families show their passports to a U.S. Border Patrol agent on December 10, 2021 in Yuma, Arizona
Alejandro Mayorkas told CBS News that the Department is planning for an increase in migration.
John Moore/Getty Images

A trend of increasing encounters has already taken effect, with Customs and Border Protection reporting more than 221,000 migrant encounters in March – the highest number recorded in the Biden administration so far. 

The number marked a huge spike from February, which only reported 164,973 stops.

Previously, the highest number of encounters in a single month under President Biden was last July, when 213,593 encounters were reported. 

In a separate statement to Fox News Digital, Babin indicated that Mayorkas should be removed from his position if he cannot live up to securing America’s safety. 

Immigrants wake at dawn after sleeping a night at the U.S.-Mexico border fence on December 07, 2021 in Yuma, Arizona.
Republicans criticized Alejandro Mayorkas’ decision to halt border wall construction along the southern border with Mexico.
John Moore/Getty Images

“Secretary Mayorkas has repeatedly shown a blatant disregard for our laws and refuses to put radical politics aside and secure our country,” Babin said. “He must immediately rectify his dangerous policies and uphold his constitutional obligation to protect our borders, or he should be removed from his position. Our safety and sovereignty are at stake.”

On Friday, the secretary told CBS News that the Department is planning for an increase in migration and is deploying additional resources of personnel, transportation, medical supplies, and more to help manage it.

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