The United States is at a crossroads. For too long, leaders at all levels of government have turned a blind eye to the crisis unfolding on our southern border. Indeed, that porous border has fueled both a national drug crisis and a migrant crisis, which threaten to undermine the safety of Americans in communities across the country.
The Biden administration has so far failed to articulate a clear plan to end these crises by securing the border, and the cabinet official directly charged with implementing a border security plan, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, has r
outinely downplayed the problems that exist there.
For failing to uphold his oath to safeguard the homeland by securing our borders, I have called on Mayorkas to resign. In the absence of a resignation, I believe he should be impeached. As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, I will work to build a case for impeaching Mayorkas in a transparent manner via the committee’s information-gathering process.
Under Mayorkas’ leadership, the Department of Homeland Security has lost operational control of the border — a fact backed up by congressional testimony last March by Raul Ortiz, then the chief of the United States Border Patrol.
This loss of control coincides with the fact that Border Patrol personnel have encountered over 8.1 million migrants since the beginning of the Biden administration, and an additional 1.7 million managed to evade overstretched law enforcement and slip into the country, according to sources in United States Customs and Border Protection.
With the risk of terrorism at dangerously high levels and public safety deteriorating across the country, having 1.7 million “gotaways” roaming the streets of America is a frightening prospect.
Our porous border is negatively impacting the quality of life of millions of Americans. On Jan. 2, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that there were “a number of migrants who have committed crimes,” including some who had participated in a “robbery pattern.” More than 160,000 migrants have recently entered New York City, and they have elicited proclamations from Adams that the Big Apple may slash municipal services by up to 15 percent to pay for migrant services.
What’s more, since the beginning of fiscal year 2021, 294 people on the United State’s terror watch list have been arrested trying to enter the country — but how many on that list evaded capture because they were among the 1.7 million “gotaways” and are currently in New York? Thanks to Mayorkas’ inability to stem the flow of migrants by securing the border, New Yorkers are facing additional public safety threats and reduced municipal services.
In addition to serving as a pathway for migrants, the southern border has also been used as a gateway for drug smugglers to illegally import their dangerous narcotics into the United States.
Last fiscal year, Customs and Border Protection seized 27,293 pounds of poisonous fentanyl coming across the southwestern border, which is enough to kill around 6 billion — that’s billion — people. Regretfully, due to overstretched resources, CBP is able to seize only 5 to 10 percent of the fentanyl smuggled across the border, with the remainder making it to the streets of American cities and contributing to the 111,355 American overdose deaths that were recorded in the 12-month period ending in April 2023. Americans are being killed because of the porous southern border.
I was proud to help pass H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023, in the House of Representatives, which would fully fund CBP and make critical investments in border security infrastructure.
While I continue to advocate for my colleagues in the Senate to pass the sweeping border security plan outlined in H.R. 2, I will work to hold Mayorkas accountable for this crisis of his own creation — and there is no better way to hold him accountable than to fire him.
Mayorkas must be impeached.
Anthony D’Esposito represents the 4th Congressional District.