Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of Homeland Security, rebuffed claims that the majority of House Republicans will remove him from office.
According to a report by The Daily Wire, Mayorkas made his comments during an interview with CNN’s Chris Wallace, who referred to the “slings and arrows of your critics” and asked if that would “force you out.”
The Biden administration cabinet member has been facing harsh criticism, specifically from Republicans, about the state of the Southern border.
“They will not force me out,” Mayorkas retorted, causing the host to raise some of the concerns Republicans have voiced.
“Critics point out in 2020, Donald Trump’s final year in office, U.S. border authorities encountered migrants 458,000 times at the border but under Joe Biden in 2022, there were 2.3 million encounters. How can you say the border is secure?” Wallace queried.
“Right now the United States has millions of jobs opening due to the economic success of this administration,” Mayorkas deflected.
“We have progressed in conquering the pandemic far more than the countries to the south of Mexico. And that makes the United States an appealing place of destination for people fleeing persecution or otherwise in desperate need of a better life.”
“What does secure mean to you?” Wallace pressed. “We have all seen the scenes of floods of people walking across shallow points in the Rio Grande. We’ve all seen the pictures of encampments in downtowns in El Paso, places in Arizona. We’ve all seen the pictures of the flood of migrants coming to New York. … By those standards, it is not a secure border. … Migrants believe there’s an open border.”
“I don’t think the more than 1.5 million people who have been removed or expelled from the border would consider the border open,” Mayorkas said, pivoting toward blaming republicans for the illegal immigration.
“But political leaders communicate that the border is open. That is music to the smugglers’ ears," Mayorkas said, claiming that Republicans' comments are damaging "rhetoric."
Resignations by members of the presidential cabinet due to pressure from Congress are relatively uncommon in politics, but they do occur from time to time. The relationship between the executive and legislative branches of the US government is often contentious, with each branch seeking to assert its own authority and pursue its own agenda.
When a member of the presidential cabinet comes under scrutiny or criticism from Congress, it can create a difficult situation for the president and their administration. In some cases, the member in question may choose to resign in order to avoid further controversy or to protect the president from political fallout.
Some notable examples of cabinet members who resigned due to pressure from Congress include Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who resigned in 2007 amid controversy over his handling of the firing of several US attorneys, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, who resigned in 2017 following revelations about his use of private jets for official travel.
Overall, while it is not common for members of the presidential cabinet to resign due to pressure from Congress, it is not unheard of, and can occur in situations where the political pressure becomes too great for the member in question or for the administration as a whole.