- A New Yorker article reveals that the White House intentionally ordered Mayorkas not to call the surge at the southern border a crisis.
- Led to 2021 fumble that Mayorkas called a “frontier challenge”
- The report notes that Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, proposed firing Mayorkas as a way to reset the message on handling the southern border.
Alejandro Mayorkas is one of the most hated Republican members of President Joe Biden’s administration and last week became the second impeached Cabinet secretary in US history.
A new report Saturday includes officials detailing how the White House attempted to block the Secretary of Homeland Security from calling the surge in migration across the southern border a “crisis.”
And three officials, according to the New Yorker reportThey say that in late spring 2023 it was proposed that Mayorkas would be fired to help restore the administration’s messaging on the southern border.
Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled House ultimately voted – by a margin of just one vote – to impeach Mayorkas. But the Democratic-led Senate is likely to acquit him.
All of this comes amid unprecedented illegal immigration and migration across the southern border, after Biden ordered Mayorkas to relax Trump-era restrictions upon taking office in 2021.
A New Yorker article this weekend reveals that the DHS Secretary was intentionally targeted by the White House. Alejandro Mayorkas will not describe the increase on the southern border as a crisis
The report notes that White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain last spring raised the possibility of firing Mayorkas as a way to reset the message on handling the southern border.
In December 2023, the US recorded the highest single-day apprehension record: Customs and Border Protection came into contact with 301,983 migrants crossing the southern border into the US.
Republicans blame Biden’s lax policies for this surge, and say Mayorkas is also to blame for dereliction of duty at the southern border and lying to the American people about the severity of the crisis.
During a press conference in March 2021, a reporter openly asked Mayorkas if there was a ‘crisis at the border,’ to which the DHS secretary responded, ‘The answer is no. “I think there is a challenge at the border that we are managing.”
This response, according to the New Yorker article, was in accordance with the White House’s instructions to Mayorkas to avoid using the word “crisis” in his public appearances when discussing immigration.
It was obvious to most Americans and lawmakers that there was a crisis with thousands of asylum seekers arriving every day. And Mayorkas’s words at that moment seemed uncomfortable to even his staunchest defenders.
“I refuse to engage in diction battles,” Mayorkas told The New Yorker when asked about his avoidance of using the word “crisis” at the time.
Additionally, three administration officials said that during a meeting at the White House last spring, Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, mentioned the possibility of firing Mayorkas.
According to officials, it was proposed as a way to reset the narrative about the southern border and border security in general.
The House voted to impeach Mayorkas last week, making him the second Cabinet secretary to be impeached in US history.
But one former official questioned who could replace Mayorkas, who had more experience on the issue.
“I never suggested firing Secretary Mayorkas,” Klain insisted to the New Yorker. “I consider Ali a friend and a dedicated public servant.”
House Speaker Mike Johnson held a floor vote to impeach Mayorkas last week, which was ultimately successful.
But now the issue moves to the Senate, which requires a two-thirds vote to convict and remove an official secretary from office.
Mayorkas was the first Cabinet official to be indicted in nearly 150 years, and only the second to face that fate.