- The Washington Times - Friday, February 11, 2022

Nearly four dozen of House Republicans called on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign Friday on grounds he is leaving the southern border “wide open” and making it difficult for agents to do their jobs.

The letter was led by Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma and signed by 45 other Republicans. They cited a surge in illegal migration under the Biden administration and the decision to pause the construction of former President Donald Trump’s border wall.

The lawmakers also pointed to leaked audio from a meeting between Mr. Mayorkas and Arizona border agents in which the secretary admitted that current policies “are not particularly popular” with employees of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“In light of recent reports displaying your failure to execute the primary mission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to secure our nation from its many threats through your inability and refusal to enforce the immigration laws, we call on you to resign as secretary of Homeland Security,” the letter said. “Our nation is facing increases in criminal gang activity, human trafficking, and drug smuggling at the hands of your decisions to circumvent the law and handcuff U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.”

One border agent reportedly turned his back on the secretary during what DHS characterized as a frank discussion with agents in Yuma, Arizona.

The Republican lawmakers said the confrontation suggests the agency’s employees have lost faith in Mr. Mayorkas’ leadership.

They also raised concerns about the number of encounters agents have been having with illegal immigrants at the southern border, increasing drug seizures, flights taking migrants deeper into the country and reports the Transportation Security Administration accepted warrants from illegal immigration as a form of identification to board planes.

“Following one year of disastrous policies, nonexistent support for your agents’ ability to enforce immigration laws, and the total loss of faith from the American people, we call for your resignation as secretary of Homeland Security,” the lawmakers wrote.

DHS did not respond to a request for comment.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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