In a notable shift in strategy, House Homeland Security Committee Chair Mark Green (R-Tenn.) has called for written testimony from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, moving away from earlier plans for a public hearing.
This development follows Mayorkas’s inability to meet Green’s initial request for a hearing, citing a conflicting schedule due to hosting a Mexican delegation for immigration discussions.
Green requests Mayorkas’s written testimony amidst dispute
Green’s recent letter marks a response to Mayorkas’s office’s inability to attend the scheduled Thursday hearing.
Describing Mayorkas’s stance as a refusal to appear, Green invited him to submit written testimony for the January 18th hearing.
“Since you continue to decline to come in person, I invite you to submit written testimony for the January 18th hearing record so that our Committee Members may hear from you directly,” Green asserted.
The Department of Homeland Security has interpreted these events as a hasty move by Green to impeach Mayorkas.
DHS spokesperson criticizes Committee’s approach to Mayorkas testimony
DHS spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg criticized the Committee’s approach, stating, “This is just the latest example of Committee Republicans’ sham process… they are not interested in hearing from Secretary Mayorkas.”
Ehrenberg also highlighted the lack of response from the Committee to find a mutually agreeable date for testimony.
Despite this conflict, Mayorkas has a record of frequent Congressional testimonies, having appeared before Congress more than any other official in the Biden Cabinet.
He has testified at various hearings, including the worldwide threats hearing and a DHS budget hearing.
Dispute over Mayorkas’s testimony requests
Chair Mark Green has pointed out that Mayorkas has previously ignored requests for testimony, citing unresponded invitations from August and September.
Green, vocal about his intentions on Fox News, has initiated a series of impeachment hearings for Mayorkas, emphasizing the need for his testimony.
In a letter to Green, Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Zephranie Buetow suggested finding an alternate date for Mayorkas’s testimony, considering his commitments, including discussions with Mexican officials on border enforcement.
Buetow affirmed Mayorkas’s willingness to cooperate with Congressional Committees.
Chair Green’s critique of Mayorkas’s priorities and impeachment hearing
Chair Green has openly criticized Mayorkas for prioritizing Mexican interests over American concerns.
Green’s frustration was evident in a statement on X, criticizing Mayorkas for neglecting Congressional oversight in favor of Mexican engagements.
The Homeland Security Committee recently conducted its first hearing to explore Mayorkas’s potential impeachment.
Despite drafting articles of impeachment, the hearing did not present new evidence to support claims for Mayorkas’s removal over border management.
Republican critique of Mayorkas’s border control claims
The crux of the Republican critique lies in Mayorkas’s assertions about maintaining ‘operational control’ of the border, a claim disputed by the GOP.
Republicans point to Mayorkas’s testimony regarding the Secure Fence Act, arguing that no Homeland Security Secretary has achieved the defined standard of border control.
Mayorkas, however, contends that the law requires him to effectively utilize available resources for border management.