YUMA, Ariz. — An elated crowd inside Yuma’s city hall cheered Thursday for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ potential impeachment A local official had accused him of lying to conceal plans for closing gaps on the US-Mexico Border Wall wall.
Jonathan Lines (a Yuma County Board of Supervisors member) testified at A House Judiciary Field for the committee hearingPanel Democrats boycotted the event. Mayorkas falsely said he’d address openings that are popular avenues for Illegal Immigration and Drug Smuggling
“Has Secretary Mayorkas ever lied to you?” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R. Fla.), asked Lines who was one the three witnesses at The hearing.
“Yes,” From a, lines said to make you chuckle crowd more than 200 hearing chamber.
“What was the substance of that lie?” asked Gaetz.
“The mayor and I had the opportunity to visit with Secretary Mayorkas and the Yuma [Border Patrol] sector chief … at sector headquarters almost a year ago,” Lines said. “And during that meeting he committed to, after reviewing the border both from the ground and the air, to specifically address ‘nine of the 11 Yuma gaps.’”
“And how many of those gaps have been addressed?” asked Gaetz.
“To date so far? None. We see infrastructure on two and yet they would not deter anyone,” Lines said.
“It seems as though it’s not a great mystery where the pressure points are where we have gaps in the wall and where we have recalcitrant [Native American] tribes,” Gaetz said — after touring two such gaps Wednesday night with fellow committee members.
He believes that lines should be added to his belief Mayorkas It has “a lack of will” to follow through and seal up the wall — which was left unfinished at Trump’s fall. The White House halted construction on all walls in January 2021 after President Biden. House It was announced in July it would close the gaps around Yuma.
“We’ve followed up multiple times — as well as Yuma sector of Border Patrol staff — and with undersecretaries, and we were told time and time again that they were issuing contracts, that we would have it no later than June of last year, then no later than September, then no later than November. Every time it kept getting pushed out,” Lines said.
“I was patient every time that I called and they continued to push this process out. It’s not reasonable.”
The crowd Gaetz called the alarm and it erupted. for Mayorkas’ outster of Lines’ testimony.
“The day will come soon when Secretary Mayorkas has to come and answer our questions. And to my colleagues, if he’ll lie to Mr. Lines and lie to the community here, then he will lie to us and he will lie to the American people,” Gaetz said. “And that’s why I’m very proud to cosponsor Representative [Andy] Biggs’ articles of impeachment against Secretary Mayorkas, because this is not a lack of ability, it’s a lack of will.”
If you are unsure, ask! Mayorkas Yuma Sheriff Leon Wilmont was responsible for securing the border. He gave one word answers: “No.”
The article will be updated later in the hearingRep. Jeff Van Drew, R-NJ, was initially elected in Congress as a Democrat, but switched parties in 2018. He stated that he will vote. for the secretary’s impeachment — saying “Mayorkas has committed treason.”
“Of course I applauded,” Malba Alvarez was a high-school teacher and spoke afterwards to The Post.
Mayorkas “hasn’t even been present to see in reality what the gaps are” “he needs to become better informed,” Alvarez, who is from San Luis just southwest Yuma, said this.
Another attendee, retiree Donna Angel, sat near the witness table wearing a t-shirt promoting Nikki Haley’s 2024 Republican presidential candidacy and said she cheered for Mayorkas’ impeachment “because nothing’s getting done.”
“We have a problem here and he says we don’t,” said Angel, who also lives outside Yuma and said she was particularly perturbed that inland Homeland Security checkpoints in the area haven’t been manned during the Biden administration, depriving the region of a secondary level of border security.
The Committee Republicans had to take turns at The hearing They are tearing into Democratic colleagues for Skip the visit of Yuma to the delegation
“Just fentanyl alone should be a national emergency in America and I can’t believe we do not have colleagues on the other side of the aisle [here],” Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.), was fumed.
Recently, the Biden administration highlighted record amounts of fentanyl that were seized at the border. This powerful synthetic opioid can kill up to 10 grams of salt and is a popular choice for pain relief. at Border authorities had seize his Annual State of the Union. “over 23,000 pounds of fentanyl in just the last several months.”
However, the Republican panelists pointed out the record-high number of deaths from fentanyl and tried to discredit Democratic arguments that most of the drug is being smuggled into legal ports of entry.
Lines stated that the most recent statistics on fentanyl seizures show an increase in the number of seizures between border stop. Lines linked the rise to the decrease in migrants crossing the Yuma region in January. This allowed Border Patrol officers to pay more attention to drug runners and freed them up to do other things.
Between 2018 and 2021 there were 196,000 US victims of fentanyl. Fentanyl death data from 2022 isn’t yet available, though the toll is expected to remain near all-time highs as the compound, largely sourced from China and smuggled through Mexico, is increasingly mixed into cocaine and counterfeit prescriptions, killing unwitting users.
The hearing A wide range of issues related to border were discussed, including the impact of non-reimbursed local health care, crop damage and violence by local drug cartels. Many legislators claimed that this was amounted “to” all of these. “slavery” Oder “indentured servitude.”
The Biden administration has presided over a record surge in illegal immigration — with nearly 2.4 million illegal border-crossing arrests in fiscal 2022, which ended Sept. 30, up from 1.7 million in fiscal 2021, fewer than 500,000 in 2020 and nearly 1 million in 2019.
So far, fiscal 2023 is on pace to set another record, with more than 762,000 Southwest border apprehensions recorded from Oct. 1 through Jan. 31 — up 18.3% From the previous year. The alleged number of were 1.2 million It is known “gotaways” who eluded arrest in the first 24 months of Biden’s presidency, according to US Customs and Border Protection data.
Critics blame the border crisis on Biden’s policies, including relaxing the Trump-era mandate to quickly deport border-crossers under a CDC COVID-19 rule and also ending a policy of requiring migrants to remain in Mexico to await court ruling on their asylum claims. Biden officials say a policy similar to Trump’s “remain in Mexico” program will be enacted in May to replace the CDC rule, though it’s unclear how strictly it will be enforced.