House GOP Questions DHS Secretary Mayorkas' Fitness for Office as Title 42-Related Border Tsunami Looms


When Title 42 implementation ends in May, Department of Homeland Security officials expect a deluge of illegal immigrants to flood over the southern border, exacerbating President Joe Biden’s border crisis.

Now, House of Representatives Republicans are questioning DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ fitness for office as the illegal immigration tsunami looms — firing a shot across the bow of a White House ill-prepared to deal with the fallout from its decision not to extend the public health order.

(Here at The Western Journal, we’ve chronicled what revoking Title 42 would do to America’s already swamped border security officials — and what could have been done to prevent it. We’ll keep making sure America knows the facts about the border crisis. You can help us by subscribing.)

In a letter from House GOP leadership to Mayorkas obtained by Fox News and published Sunday night, the lawmakers hit at Mayorkas’ planning for the likely surge, “questioning his suitability for office,” according to a description from the outlet.

Republicans (and some Democrats) are concerned about the Biden administration’s decision to let Title 42 protections lapse in May. Under Title 42 — a World War II-era public health code — individuals entering the country could be summarily deported during times of issues with communicable disease, even if they claimed they had reason for an asylum hearing.

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The protections were invoked in March of 2020 by then-President Donald Trump’s administration at the outset of the pandemic. The Biden administration kept them in place with some changes; this came to be seen not as a way of preventing the COVID-19 pandemic from spreading but from preventing the already-record illegal immigration numbers from jumping far higher.

However, the administration announced it would let the protections lapse come May — without a concrete plan in play. In a letter to Mayorkas dated Monday, more than 130 Republicans wrote “to address your actions to dismantle the security of our nation’s southern border and disregard for the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.”

The primary signatories were Republican Border Security Caucus Co-Chairman Rep. Brian Babin of Texas and Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana.

“Signers of the letter include Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican Whip Steve Scalise and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik,” Fox News reported.

Do you think the Biden administration will reverse course on ending Title 42?

“Your actions have willingly endangered American citizens, undermined the rule of law and our nation’s sovereignty,” the letter states, addressing Mayorkas.

“Your failure to secure the border and enforce the laws passed by Congress raise grave questions about your suitability for office.”

In the letter, which had 134 signatures as of late Monday morning Eastern Daylight Time, the lawmakers noted there was pending litigation that had led to “a federal court requiring continued execution of” former President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required migrants requesting asylum to remain in Mexico until their case was adjudicated.

“Even after the United States Supreme Court declined to reverse the lower court’s decision, you inexplicably issued another memo laying out plans to terminate the program,” the letter continued.

They added that Mayorkas’ attempts, on behalf of the Biden administration, “to unilaterally reverse policy in ways a federal court has repeatedly found in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act … shows a willful disregard for the law and the principles of separation of powers.”

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It went on to note that “[t]he historic crisis at our southern border is set to worsen greatly due to the announced recission of Title 42, which will bring a tidal wave of illegal immigrants across our southern border and overwhelm the already overworked and understaffed agents of the U.S. Border Patrol.”

4.24 Letter to Sec Mayorkas by Fox News

Mayorkas insists there’s a plan in place.

“We have been planning for months to address increases in migration; those that we already have experienced and those that we might experience upon an end to Title 42,” the secretary told CBS News last week.

“And proof of that is the fact that we’ve deployed additional resources to the border in anticipation of an end to Title 42. The surging of personnel, transportation, medical resources, the development of additional facilities to support border operations.

“These plans have been in the works for months. And so, we do indeed have plans and I can assure the American people and their representatives that we do indeed.”

However, whatever plans DHS has right now don’t seem to be succeeding; March of 2022 set a new record for illegal immigrant apprehensions, with over 221,000, according to Fox. That could be child’s play, however, compared to what we’ll be looking at.

Last autumn, faced with the potential expiration of Title 42 protections, Mayorkas floated a number of 350,000-400,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions a month as a “worst-case scenario,” according to NBC News

It turns out that worst-case scenario has gotten, well, worse. Just before the Centers for Disease Control and Protection announced the lifting of the protocols earlier this month, they predicted a number of up to 18,000 apprehensions a day, according to ABC News. With a little back-of-the-envelope math, that works out to 540,000 a month.

To put that into context, we’re setting records with 211,000 a month in March. We’re supposed to have a plan for more than twice that in the coming months, according to Mayorkas, in addition to drug and human smugglers. Right.

“Secretary Mayorkas flouted federal law to spread drugs and death in his own country. He and Joe Biden created the worst humanitarian crisis in modern American history, and they did it illegally and on purpose,” Banks said in a statement. “It’s sickening and House Republicans must immediately hold Secretary Mayorkas accountable.”

But therein lies the problem: In this administration, accountability is only to the activist base that insists on controlling policy, lest they withdraw their support. Once Title 42 protections are removed, we’re going to see just how destructive that is.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture