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Statement from Chairman Green on Secretary Mayorkas’ Refusal to Testify in Historic Impeachment Proceedings

January 11, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) issued the following statement after more delays and evasion from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding the Committee’s latest request that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas appear before the Committee to explain his handling of the unprecedented crisis at the Southwest border. 
After repeated invitations, offering Secretary Mayorkas multiple dates, the Secretary continues to refuse to appear before the Committee to testify specifically on the border crisis. Most recently, the Committee issued yet another invitation on Jan. 5, 2024, to the Secretary to appear next Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. After receiving no communication back to the Committee until late last night, the Committee granted two extensions for an answer this morning that were both left unmet by the Secretary. After failing to accept our invitation or offer an alternative time to testify, the Committee is moving forward with hearing from victims of Secretary Mayorkas’ border crisis next week.
Chairman Green noted,“It is deeply troubling that Secretary Mayorkas has refused the Committee’s multiple requests to appear before a co-equal branch of government. For months, we have tried to work with his office to secure his testimony before the Committee so the American people can receive some much-needed transparency about the causes, costs, and consequences of the unprecedented border crisis. We have given him every opportunity to explain his handling of the crisis. Unfortunately, this pattern of defying Congress has continued with his refusal to testify before this Committee specifically about his handling of this crisis and his failure to enforce America’s immigration laws. Apparently, accountability and transparency are not high on his priority list. The American people deserve better than this.
“It’s certainly telling that one of the primary excuses Secretary Mayorkas gave us for declining to appear next week is that he must host a delegation of Mexican officials. Yet again, this Secretary is putting the interests of Mexico ahead of the American people. Apparently, he needs to be reminded that Congress is a co-equal branch of government, and our Committee, not Mexico, has oversight over his department.”
BACKGROUND: On Aug. 16, 2023, the Committee sent a letter to Secretary Mayorkas inviting him to provide testimony about the state of the Southwest border and his handling of the crisis that has been raging for three years. Nearly a month later, on Sept. 14, in response to the Committee’s offer to appear before members and defend his actions and decisions, DHS rejected that invitation. Subsequently, the Committee sent a follow-up letter on Sept. 18 reiterating its request that Secretary Mayorkas appear before the Committee. Several days after the requested deadline, DHS again sent a letter declining the invitation, claiming that DHS has “limited capacity” to support such a hearing request.