The House Committee on Homeland Security conducted a hearing as part of impeachment proceedings against DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The hearing focused on the impact of Mayorkas’ border policies, with testimony from individuals affected by crimes committed by illegal aliens. Tammy Nobles, whose daughter was tragically raped and murdered by an MS-13 gang member, and Josephine Dunn, whose daughter died from ingesting fentanyl, provided heartbreaking testimony. Republicans highlighted Mayorkas’ failure to follow laws, causing the border crisis, and announced support for his impeachment.
Democrats claimed the hearing was a political stunt, while Republicans emphasized the serious consequences of open-border policies. The grieving mothers argued that Mayorkas betrayed the public trust, leading to tragic outcomes.
The Committee explored the possibility of impeachment as a remedy for Mayorkas’ actions, citing serious offenses against the public trust. The hearing revealed divisions on border security policies and accusations of hypocrisy between Democrats and Republicans.
|“Impeachment Is Our Final Remedy”: Grieving Mothers Make the Case for Secretary Mayorkas’ Impeachment in Heartbreaking Testimony
|WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, the House Committee on Homeland Security, led by Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN), held another hearing as part of the historic impeachment proceedings against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. This hearing examined the devastating impacts of Secretary Mayorkas’ intentional border crisis on Americans across the country, with testimony from those who have been impacted by his refusal to follow the laws and his betrayal of the public trust.
The hearing featured the heartbreaking testimony of Tammy Nobles, whose daughter, Kayla Hamilton, was tragically raped and murdered by an illegal alien who was a known member of the prolific MS-13 gang and had an extensive criminal history prior to entering the United States and being released in 2022.
Nobles was joined by Josephine Dunn, whose daughter, Ashley Dunn, was killed on May 26, 2021, when she unknowingly ingested five milligrams of fentanyl. Ashley also left behind a five-year-old son.
Throughout the hearing, Nobles and Dunn bravely told their stories, and were clear in their belief that their daughters’ deaths were the result of Secretary Mayorkas’ betrayal of the public trust, and his refusal to follow the laws and secure the border.
In the hearing, Homeland Republicans also detailed how Secretary Mayorkas’ refusal to follow the laws passed by Congress directly caused the unprecedented border crisis, and highlighted how this failure has affected not only Dunn and Nobles but countless Americans across the country. The members also addressed how previous statements of the Democrat witness, as well as the minority’s witness at last week’s first impeachment hearing, revealed major inconsistencies in how those witnesses viewed standards of impeachment during the 2019 proceedings against then-President Donald Trump compared to today.
Following the hearing, and in light of the Committee’s nearly year-long investigation into the causes, costs, and consequences of the historic crisis, all 18 Republicans on the Committee announced their support for the impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas.
Read highlights of the hearing below.
1. On the tragic human cost of Secretary Mayorkas’ intentional refusal to follow the law and his betrayal of the public trust:
In her opening statement, Nobles recounted the unimaginable suffering her daughter went through due to Secretary Mayorkas’ willful failure:
“Let’s take a moment and think about how Kayla felt that day, how scared she must have been that day knowing that she was dying. If she was going to see her mommy again, her baby sister, her brother or her cat, Oreo. Kayla fought for her life that day with all that she had, and in the end she lost to an individual that wasn’t even supposed to be allowed into the country. For me, this is not a political issue. This is a safety issue for everyone living in the United States. This could have been anyone’s daughter. I don’t want any other parent to live the nightmare that I am living. I am her voice now, and I’m going to fight with everything I have to get her story told and bring awareness of the issue at the border. If we had stricter border policies, my daughter would still be alive today. Nothing will bring my daughter back nor fix the pain of not having her here. This isn’t about immigration; it’s about protecting everyone in the United States.”
In her opening statement, Dunn detailed the flow of fentanyl across the Southwest border under Secretary Mayorkas:
“I understand that the mission of the Department of Homeland Security is to secure our nation’s air, land, and sea borders to prevent illegal activity, while facilitating lawful travel and trade. In my humble opinion, Mr. Mayorkas’ border policies are partially responsible for my daughter’s death. His wide-open border policy allows massive quantities of poisonous fentanyl into our country. Arizona is the fentanyl superhighway into the United States.
“I personally feel Mr. Mayorkas is responsible for opening that border…This weapon of mass destruction has killed over one hundred thousand Americans on our soil for two years in a row under Secretary Mayorkas’ leadership, or lack thereof, fentanyl is an invasion. The weapon of mass destruction has caused unimaginable numbers of deaths and unmeasurable damage to our country’s families, including my own. My family is broken. My heart is broken. And he couldn’t even be here to face me today.
“Our country deserves a secure border. Our country deserves to feel safe. Our country deserves to be free of fentanyl. We need to close the fentanyl superhighway. We need to close the border.”
Rep. Dale Strong (R-AL) addressed the consequential testimony of Dunn and Nobles before the Committee:
“Ms. Nobles, shouldn’t just one instance that an illegal alien has endangered or taken the life of an innocent American, like your daughter, be a wakeup call to Secretary Mayorkas and President Biden?”
“Yes, most definitely.”
“You lost it all. As a matter of fact, it has been more than just one instance. In Alabama alone, May 2023, an illegal alien from Honduras raped a teenage girl in a restaurant bathroom. November 2022, an illegal alien sodomized a 13-year-old boy. July 2022, an illegal immigrant from Mexico killed and dismembered a woman’s body and her child. The lone survivor, a 12-year-old girl, escaped after watching this horrific scene and being held captive with the decomposing remains. How many more stories will it take for Secretary Mayorkas and the Biden administration to wake up…If not this, then what will compel them to act?”
Rep. Eli Crane (R-AZ) asked Deborah Pearlstein, director for the Program in Law and Public Policy at Princeton University and the minority witnesses, about what qualifies as betraying the public trust:
“During the audio recording that the Chairman played, one of the criteria for impeachment is serious offences against public trust. Do you still stand by this comment today?”
“Offenses against the public trust are instances in which an official is willfully acting for his own benefit or the benefit of his own power or on behalf of a foreign power.”
Crane then asked:
“How has this border crisis that has been planned and executed by Secretary Mayorkas not be a serious offense to public trust, Ms. Pearlstein?”
“Having read through the materials, I see no evidence that Secretary Mayorkas has acted on behalf of his own benefit financially or politically, and I see no evidence that there is collusion or other cooperation or acting on behalf of a foreign power.”
“Do you see evidence of betrayal of public trust? If you need help finding that, look to your right. There are two mothers in here that have had their complete lives destroyed, their families destroyed.”
“Ms. Dunn has your public trust in Secretary Mayorkas and the Department of Homeland Security been broken?”
Subcommittee on Emergency Management and Technology Chairman Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY) asked Dunn and Nobles if the immeasurable harm to their families from Secretary Mayorkas’ refusal to follow the law qualifies as a serious offense against the public trust:
“Ms. Pearlstein…You said, ‘Serious offenses against the public trust could lead to an impeachment.’ So, Ms. Dunn, do you believe that has occurred, and what happened to your daughter and other teenagers and Americans throughout this country, like her. Do you believe it is a serious offense against the public trust?”
“Yes. My border not being secure is a serious offense. Other legislators worried about other people from other countries instead of my own, is a serious offense. I take great offense to that. I think you need to be worried about us.”
“Again, Ms. Nobles the same question. Do you feel that what happened to your daughter and the crimes that have been committed against Americans by individuals who have illegally crossed our border—do you think that those are serious offenses against the public trust?”
“Yes, definitely.“ 2. On refuting Democrats’ claims regarding the border crisis:
Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability Chairman Dan Bishop (R-NC) refuted Democrats’ “solutions” for the border crisis and highlighted Secretary Mayorkas’ intentional anti-enforcement actions and decisions:
“Let this go down on record: the only proposals that have been offered is to send more money to the border, which will be used to process more immigrants faster into the country, number one, or number two, to legalize them all. Grant them amnesty, as if that would somehow address any of the problems that we’re experiencing. Not one of them would be addressed.”
Rep. Laurel Lee (R-FL) refuted the claim that more laws would solve the border crisis:
“[O]ur colleagues across the aisle impugn the purpose and the necessity of this hearing, calling it a political sham, calling it a stunt, calling it theater. And they suggest that what we actually need to do is pass more laws. So as a former federal prosecutor and judge, I’ll start today with a refresher on a few of the things that are currently illegal in the United States of America.
“It is illegal to traffic fentanyl in the United States of America. Human trafficking is illegal in this country. Theft is illegal in this country. Rape and murder are illegal in this country. What’s more, the Department of Homeland Security has an absolute obligation to detain and remove those who enter this country illegally. We do not need more laws. We need a president of the United States and secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to enforce the laws of this country. But what do we have instead? An administration that has deliberately subverted the duly enacted laws of the United States of America, that have deliberately defied the orders of courts in this United States of America…We have a Department of Homeland Security that has defied inquiries from the United States Congress.”
In his closing statement, Chairman Green made clear that impeachment is the “final remedy” left to Congress to hold accountable a DHS secretary who refuses to follow the law:
“President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas are the ones who have trampled on the Constitution and the separation of powers by ignoring a coequal branch of government. As far as I understand the Constitution—the Constitution I swore an oath to at the age of 17 on the Plain at West Point—Congress writes the laws and the executive branch executes them, but that is absolutely not what Secretary Mayorkas has been doing when it comes to our country’s immigration laws. In fact, he’s been spitting on those laws, and thus the Constitution, in the last three years.”
“Impeachment is our final remedy. We are left with no other choice. This is also not a resource issue. Democrats are wrong when they claim that the reason this border crisis is happening is because there aren’t enough resources at the border and that Republicans have refused to fund Border Patrol.
“First of all, House Republicans have voted for substantial increases in funding for CBP above the President’s requested amount. In fact, funding for Border Patrol operations and related Southwest border requirements increased over $2.2 billion since FY 2021. Additionally, House Republicans in the FY24 Homeland Security appropriations bill…increased border security funding, again, above President Biden’s proposed budget. On top of this H.R.2, the Secure the Border Act, would fund a Border Patrol force of 22,000. Yet did any Democrat here vote for that? No! It’s the definition of hypocrisy.
“Secondly, Secretary Mayorkas actually asked for less money each year to fund detentions. The one thing that is a deterrent to people coming and making that trek.”
3. On Democrats’ hypocrisy regarding impeachment:
Chairman Green drew attention to the minority witness’ previous statements regarding the grounds for impeachment:
“Ms. Pearlstein, in 2019 in a New York public radio podcast, you were asked what you took away from a congressional hearing on impeachment standards.”
In the recording, Pearlstein said, in part:
“The existing criminal laws didn’t exist when the Framers wrote the Constitution and indeed crimes as such weren’t what the Framers had in mind when they put impeachment into the Constitution. What they were thinking about with the impeachment remedy were serious offenses again. The public trust, that is, certain things that only the president and other senior officials could do that abuse their authority.”
Chairman Green continued:
“Do you still stand by those words? Just a yes or no, quick question.”
“It is absolutely the case that the Congress doesn’t have to show a violation of Title XVIII of the U.S. code. It has to show that there was a high crime or misdemeanor.”
Chairman Green asked:
“I think the words that are very interesting to me, ‘serious offenses against the public trust.’
“Miss Nobles, Miss Dunn, do you think that our open-border policies, which have allowed fentanyl to pour into this country, 1.8 million gotaways, unknown gotaways, is an offense against the public trust of this country?”
Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Chairman August Pfluger (R-TX) received confirmation from the minority witness that Cabinet members have a duty to uphold the law:
“When you take the oath of office as a Cabinet member to well and faithfully execute the duties of the office, does that infer responsibility to uphold the laws as well?”
“Anybody who takes an oath to take care that the laws are faithfully executed has an oath to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, yes.”