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Chairman Green Invites Mayorkas to Submit Written Testimony Following DHS Secretary’s Rejection of Committee’s Offer to Testify in Person

January 17, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) issued the following statement after sending a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, offering the Secretary the opportunity to submit written testimony for the record in defense of his refusal to follow the laws of the United States and betrayal of the public trust. 
The invitation comes in conjunction with a hearing the Committee is holding Thursday to hear from Americans first-hand on how the unprecedented crisis at our borders, caused by the Secretary’s abuse of power, has impacted them personally. In keeping with standard Committee rules, the Secretary will have until Jan. 28, 2024, to submit his testimony for the record. 
Chairman Green said, “The Committee has given Secretary Mayorkas chance after chance to appear and explain his actions, decisions, and statements to us and to the American people. Over the past several months, he has tacitly rejected those offers, resorting instead to political games and delay. We would have liked to include his oral testimony in the official record of these historic proceedings. However, this Committee—part of a co-equal branch of government—will not accept indefinite delays. Our request for written testimony from Secretary Mayorkas is his last chance to show some semblance of respect for the people’s representatives and our constitutional oversight duties. The American people are begging for Congress to act, and we will heed that call. Congressional oversight will continue, with or without Secretary Mayorkas’ cooperation.”
On Jan. 5, 2024, the Committee invited Secretary Mayorkas to testify as part of the historic impeachment proceedings initiated earlier this month. Unfortunately, the secretary ultimately rejected the Committee’s offer to testify on Jan. 18, after his office failed to communicate with the Committee for nearly a week after receiving the invitation letter. In its response, his office noted that Secretary Mayorkas was too busy to appear due to the visit of a Mexican delegation to discuss the border. At the time, Chairman Green said the following: 

“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.” 

This tacit refusal to testify was just the latest in a long string of rejections by Secretary Mayorkas when asked to appear before the Committee to defend his record. 
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. 
Read more details about how the department has played political games with the Committee here