Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, on Tuesday ripped Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and said he should be fired for his handling of the ongoing southern border crisis and the fentanyl flow to the United States
“My constituents say who is responsible? Who is responsible? Who pays a price? Who got fired? Well, you weren’t fired. You should be fired,” Cornyn said at a Senate Judiciary hearing. “But you were not fired for executing Biden administration policies. And we have seen nothing but death and destruction as a result.”
The fiery remarks came as Cornyn questioned Mayorkas about the flow of fentanyl into the US, as well as the ongoing crisis at the southern border – which has seen more than 2.4 million encounters with migrants in the US in fiscal 2022.
More than 70,000 Americans die each year from fentanyl — which is made primarily in Mexico from Chinese precursors and smuggled across the southern border.
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Mayorcas and Democrats have noted that the majority (about 90%) of fentanyl seizures occur at ports of entry, and those arrested are typically US citizens.
But Republicans have pointed to the massive numbers of runaways sneaking past border guards between ports of entry and have noted that it’s impossible to know how much fentanyl is being smuggled in.
This clash was seen earlier in the exchange when Cornyn asked Mayorkas how cartels try to overwhelm agents so they can shove drugs past them. Mayorkas said he was unaware of this strategy and tried to highlight confiscations at ports of entry.
“About 90% of the fentanyl that is put into …,” Mayorkas said.
“It’s a totally made up number,” Cornyn replied, cutting him off. “They let almost 1 million people escape from border police… between 2022 and 2023 you have no idea how many of those people were carrying fentanyl or other drugs, do you?”
“Senator, the expert opinion I’ve received is that about 90%…” Mayorkas said.
“This is a totally made up act and you know it,” Cornyn shot back.
Mayorkas reiterated his claim that most fentanyl is brought into ports via vehicles.
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“The expert opinion that I have received is that about 90% of the fentanyl is brought in through the ports of entry by passenger cars, by trucks and by pedestrians,” he said.
Cornyn went on to say that Mayorkas has a “credibility issue with Congress and the American people.”
“I have unshakable faith in the integrity of my conduct,” Mayorkas said.
Mayorkas was on the receiving end of a series of harsh interrogations from Republicans who were spying on the secretary for his handling of the border crisis. It comes as a number of lawmakers in both the House and Senate have called for his impeachment over the crisis. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called him “incompetent” and accused him of “being willing to allow child rape to comply with political orders.”
Mayorkas called the comments “disgusting,” and a DHS spokesman later followed up with a statement supporting the secretary.
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“Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of this department, to support its exceptional staff, and to serve the American people. The Department will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border, protect the nation from terrorism, and enhance our cybersecurity.” Building a Safe, Orderly, and Humane Immigration System. Rather than pointing fingers at the Department, Congress should work with the Department and pass legislation to fix our broken immigration system that hasn’t been updated in over 40 years,” the spokesman said.
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