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Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., repeated calls for Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign his post amid a crisis at the southern border Wednesday, calling his leadership a failure.
“This disaster we have at our southern border, this disintegration of our sovereignty, cannot be sustained. Anyone who has two brain cells that perhaps would bump into each other would know that it’s abject failure down there,” Higgins told Mayorkas, who testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security about the department’s budget request for 2023.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Nov. 16, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Higgins asked what it would take for Mayorkas to recognize he had personally failed in border management — whether it would take border crossings and “gotaways” doubling, or a “crime rate tripled instead of doubled?”
“How would you identify failure if it’s not what you’ve delivered so far? My God man, own the moment,” Higgins said.
Mayorkas was mostly silent during Higgins’ remarks, including when Higgins threatened to impeach Mayorkas if Republicans win the majority of the House in the November midterm elections.
U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., speaks during the America First Energy Conference 2018 in New Orleans Aug. 7, 2018. (REUTERS/Edmund D. Fountain)
“You have been called upon to resign by myself and others. Next year, if we have the majority, which we shall, you will face impeachment. I ask you as a man, own this thing,” Higgins said.
“Please feel my spirit and speak truthfully, step away from your talking points and speak to the American people and own this thing. We’re losing our country down there and need you to resign. Save the country the pain of your impeachment.”
Mayorkas responded briefly at the end of Higgins’ time.
“Congressman, I couldn’t disagree with you more when you state that our nation’s sovereignty is disintegrating,” Mayorkas said.
Republicans and moderate Democrats have criticized the DHS secretary and the Biden administration for a massive recent surge in migration at the border.
DHS Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas (House Appropriations Committee)
Democrats in particular have pressed the administration for how it will deal with the end of Title 42, a Trump-era public health order that allowed border officials to rapidly expel migrants who crossed the border illegally to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
DHS has been planning for up to 18,000 migrants a day, more than double the average 7,000 border crossers per day that agents encountered in March.
“In light of recent reports displaying your failure to execute the primary mission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to secure our nation from its many threats through your inability and refusal to enforce the immigration laws, we call on you to resign as Secretary of Homeland Security,” a February letter from Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla, and signed by 45 other House Republicans said.
Multiple sources told Fox News that over 62,000 illegal immigrants were not apprehended by border agents in March, with a total of 300,000 “gotaways” since the fiscal year began in October. The total number of gotaways is expected to eclipse the 400,000 immigrants estimated to have evaded capture in all of fiscal year 2021.