Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pointed fingers at House Republicans for the surge in migrant crossings at the southern border. This accusation came after Republicans, voting mainly along party lines, torpedoed a bipartisan border security bill that included aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.
Speaking on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Mayorkas responded to questions about the escalating number of migrants attempting to cross the border and the backlog of asylum claims, acknowledged by President Joe Biden as a “crisis.” He insisted that the broken system is not the administration’s fault, emphasizing that Congress holds the power to rectify it.
In response to inquiries about Biden’s assertion that the border lacks security, Mayorkas admitted to the system’s dysfunction. He emphasized the urgent need for congressional action to address the challenges not only faced by the United States but also affecting the broader region.
Reports from NBC News indicated that Biden is contemplating executive actions to deter illegal migration. Mayorkas outlined ongoing efforts by the administration while lamenting the demise of the bipartisan border security bill, which Republicans dismissed within days of its release.
Mayorkas narrowly dodged an impeachment attempt in the House, with three Republican defectors preventing the resolution’s passage. Despite this, House GOP leaders hinted at a potential new impeachment vote as early as the following Tuesday.
Having held the position of homeland security secretary since 2021 in the Biden administration and previously serving as deputy secretary during the Obama era, Mayorkas faced renewed scrutiny ahead of the failed impeachment vote. Biden condemned the GOP’s move, denouncing it as political retribution that would not address the border challenges.
“It certainly is a crisis and we don’t bear responsibility for a broken system, and we’re dealing a tremendous amount within that broken system,” he reiterated. “But fundamentally, Congress is the only one who can fix it.”
The outcome of the impending impeachment vote remains uncertain, but the return of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who was absent due to cancer treatment, is expected to sway the balance in favor of passage. Meanwhile, Representative Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, one of the three Republicans who opposed impeachment, announced his decision not to seek re-election, facing backlash from fellow party members.