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Rep. Strong: “If the Senate Needs Evidence of Mayorkas’ Impeachable Offenses, Look No Further Than His Abuse of Parole”

April 5, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Today, Rep. Dale Strong (R-AL), a House Committee on Homeland Security member, penned an op-ed for the Washington Examiner urging the Senate to conduct a trial in the impeachment of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas after the two articles of impeachment are transmitted to the Senate this coming Wednesday, April 10. In the op-ed, Strong also details Secretary Mayorkas’ abuse of the parole statute, one of the key components of the DHS secretary’s willful and systemicrefusal to comply with the laws passed by Congress.

If the Senate needs evidence of Mayorkas’ impeachable offenses, look no further than his abuse of parole
The Washington Examiner
By Rep. Dale Strong
April 5, 2024

When it comes to the historic chaos at our borders, it is easy to focus on footage of caravans of migrants illegally crossing the southwest border. Make no mistake — these crossings alone are incredibly compelling evidence that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is disregarding and abusing our immigration laws.

However, an even greater circumvention of the rule of law is being facilitated through what Mayorkas has continually and falsely called “lawful pathways” of migration. These efforts include mass parole—meaning that rather than apprehending, detaining, and removing inadmissible aliens, the Biden administration is releasing them into our country en masse.

In February, the House impeached Mayorkas based on this evidence of the secretary’s willful and systemic refusal to comply with the laws of the United States. His breach of the public trust is clear. The Senate must now fulfill its constitutional obligation by examining the evidence fully and hearing every argument. Anything less sets a dangerous precedent.

U.S. immigration law mandates the detention of illegal border crossers and states that parole may only be granted on a “case-by-case” and temporary basis. Instead of enforcing this law, Mayorkas has developed numerous mass-parole programs — contrary to the law — to implement the Biden administration’s catch-and-release policies. Many of those released into the interior are functionally here to stay.

On his watch, DHS has recorded at least 1.7 million parolees — an unprecedented figure. He told the House Judiciary Committee in July that these numbers are consistent with past precedent, but his own Border Patrol agents disagree. Laredo Sector Chief Patrol Agent Joel Martinez, for example, told the Committee on Homeland Security in a transcribed interview in June 2023, “Basically, the parole, before we used it recently, was used only in extreme … humanitarian instances, right? Like, if a child was sick, had to go to the hospital, we’d parole the parent in or something like that. But that was very rare. It wasn’t, like, an everyday thing.”

Who do you believe?

One of the ways Mayorkas is implementing his parole scheme is through an improper expansion of the CBP One app, which was originally developed for legitimate commercial trade and travel. The app now allows illegal aliens to schedule an appointment directly at a southern border port of entry to be “processed” into the country. Using the CBP One app to shift migrants to ports of entry who would otherwise enter between the ports so they can be reclassified as “lawful entries” is just another ploy Mayorkas is using to hide the extent of this border crisis.

Since the Biden administration expanded the app in January 2023, more than 500,000appointments have been scheduled via the app. The app has been used more than 64 million times so far. According to documents obtained from DHS under threat of subpoena, 95.8% of all inadmissible aliens who scheduled appointments through the app from January through September 2023 were paroled and released into the country.

Even worse, this app does not “cut out the smuggling organizations,” as Mayorkas claimed in July. According to reporting, cartels are using the app as a new tool to increase their revenues.

The second mass parole scheme up Mayorkas’ sleeve is the Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan parole program. This program has resulted in the mass release of more than 386,000inadmissible aliens from these countries into the United States.

In April 2023, the Committee on Homeland Security demanded answers on the program. Following more than 100 days of DHS’s failure to satisfy the request, Chairman Mark Green (R-TN) was forced to subpoena the department. Why was DHS shielding the program from proper congressional oversight if it is consistent with the law?

During questioning in a June 2023 committee hearing, former acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said it best: Mayorkas’ abuse of parole is not a side issue in this border crisis, “it is at the heart of all of this … Simply paroling up to 360,000 individuals, which is what they are on track to do, per year, violates the letter of the law.”

Mayorkas’ mass parole schemes do nothing but incentivize more illegal immigration. Nationwide encounters of inadmissible aliens at ports of entry increased over 100% from FY2022 to FY2023. He knows the consequences of his unlawful actions yet continues to double down on them.

This is not a case of simple policy disagreements. This is about Mayorkas’ intentional disregard of the laws passed by Congress. It is an affront to the Constitution and the rule of law.

This is why I solemnly voted to impeach Mayorkas on the House floor, and why the Senate must follow through with a thorough trial.