NBC news big Kristen Welker asked Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas point-blank connected Sunday if he deserved to support his occupation complete nan crisis astatine nan confederate border.
"You person now been successful your position for 3 years and let’s talk astir what’s happened during those 3 years. More migrants person crossed nan separator illegally past twelvemonth than ever before. The asylum cases backlog has much than tripled since 2019. You yourself person said that much than 85% of migrants crossing nan separator illegally are being released into nan U.S. arsenic they await their tribunal dates. Let’s conscionable put impeachment speech for a minute. Why do you merit to support your job, Mr. Secretary?" Welker asked.
Mayorkas said nan information Welker cited was a "powerful example" of why authorities was needed to hole a surgery migration system.
"Let’s return a look earlier nan past 3 years. That lawsuit backlog, which is astir 3 cardinal cases has been increasing twelvemonth complete twelvemonth complete year. The clip betwixt erstwhile we brushwood an individual astatine nan boarder and nan clip of last adjudication of an asylum lawsuit has been years. Five to 7 years, for years and years. I retrieve erstwhile I entered nan Department of Homeland Security successful 2009, we were wrestling pinch these very aforesaid issues," he added.
MAYORKAS LASHES OUT AT ‘BASELESS’ GOP ALLEGATIONS AHEAD OF KEY IMPEACHMENT VOTE
Welker besides asked astir nan House GOP's efforts to impeach Mayorkas, and said they were "serious allegations."
"They’re baseless allegations, Kristen, and that’s why I americium not distracted by them and focused connected nan activity of nan Department of Homeland Security. I’m inspired each azygous time by nan singular activity that 260,000 men and women successful our section execute connected behalf of nan American public. I’ve sewage a engaged time coming aft nan show, a engaged time of work. I’ve sewage a engaged time Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and truthful on," he responded during his media appearance.
The NBC News big further questioned Mayorkas connected whether he bears immoderate work for nan situation astatine nan border.
"It surely is simply a crisis, and we don’t carnivore work for a surgery system, and we’re doing a tremendous magnitude wrong that surgery system, but fundamentally, fundamentally, Congress is nan only 1 who tin hole it," Mayorkas said.
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ADMITS BORDER ISN'T ‘SECURE’ AFTER CLAIMING FOR YEARS IMMIGRATION WAS NOT A CRISIS
Mayorkas appeared to dodge erstwhile asked if he stood by his erstwhile claims connected nan separator being secure.
"There is nary mobility that we person a surgery system. There is nary mobility that we person a challenge, a situation astatine nan separator and location is nary mobility that Congress needs to hole it, and we’re doing everything we tin wrong that surgery strategy short of authorities to reside what is simply a — not conscionable a situation for nan United States, but 1 passim our region," he said successful consequence to a mobility astir Biden's assertion that nan confederate separator was not secure.
House Republicans failed to impeach Mayorkas past week successful a 216-214 vote. Lawmakers voted connected a solution combining 2 articles of impeachment that accused Mayorkas of having "refused to comply pinch Federal migration laws" and nan different of having violated "public trust."
The Republican mostly held hearings passim 2023 connected Mayorkas' "dereliction of duty" and further hearings connected nan impeachment articles themselves earlier this year. Lawmakers accused Mayorkas of disregarding national rule pinch "open separator policies" that person made nan ongoing situation astatine nan confederate separator worse.
Fox News' Adam Shaw and Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.