(The Center Square) – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody wants Congress to strip Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of his salary for what she says is his failure to enforce federal immigration law. Her call comes after she previously called on Congress to impeach him.
Moody sent a letter to the leaders of the U.S. Senate and House committees on appropriations asking them to cancel his salary. She also asked them to provide additional funding for border security, allocate funding to support state cooperation programs, and provide a cause of action for states to sue Mayorkas to force him to comply with federal immigration law.
She did so after the House Committee on Homeland Security released a report concluding that Mayorkas has been “derelict in duty.” The report relies extensively on information uncovered from a lawsuit filed by Moody against Mayorkas. It also cites a federal judge who ruled in her favor, Judge Kent Wetherell, who said Mayorkas’ “catch and release” parole policy was illegal.
Wetherell also said Biden administration’s policies “were akin to posting a flashing ‘Come In, We’re Open’ sign on the southern border. The unprecedented ‘surge’ of aliens that started arriving at the Southwest Border almost immediately after President Biden took office and that has continued unabated over the past two years was a predictable consequence of these actions.”
Mayorkas’ parole policy, the judge said, was “the latest in a series of policies adopted by DHS over the past two years to expedite the release of aliens arriving at the Southwest Border into the country instead of detaining them until their immigration proceedings are concluded as required by 8 U.S.C. §1225(b).”
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Wetherell’s ruling and injunction against the policy.
“Since their very first days in office, President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas have willingly and intentionally ignored the clear demands of United States immigration law and began systemically dismantling the border, requesting LESS resources to do so and initiating new programs outside federal law to allow and encourage more illegal immigration,” Moody said in a statement. “The bottom line is that Secretary Mayorkas planned to fail at his job, continues to act outside the law even when his actions have been found to be unlawful, and pridefully boasts of his tenure – all while receiving his taxpayer-funded salary anyway. His title sums up his responsibility – secure our homeland – and he has purposely done the opposite. I am calling on Congress to zero out his salary until he meets his oath to the American people.”
In her letter to congressional leaders, Moody says for two years she’s “fought in federal court to force Secretary Mayorkas to comply with the law of the land and fulfill his obligation to secure our southern border. … While I believe we will succeed in court, I also believe this issue is too important to leave solely to the judicial branch.”
She outlines the responsibility of Congress to create laws and how Mayorkas has not only failed to enforce them but has blamed Congress instead.
“Since his confirmation, Secretary Mayorkas has flouted Congress’s clear command to the detriment of my constituents and this nation,” she wrote. “Rather than detain criminal aliens and illegal border crossers as required by law, Secretary Mayorkas has released millions of these aliens. Amazingly, when pressed in court about why he continues to release aliens in violation of the law, Secretary Mayorkas consistently blames one entity above all others: Congress.”
In closing, she said, “Regardless of whether you agree with the current immigration laws, they are the law of the land and Secretary Mayorkas swore to uphold them. Congress, more than any other branch of government, is uniquely positioned to defend this country’s duly enacted laws when the Executive Branch chooses to ignore them. I hope that you will adopt my recommendations and defend the rule of law.”
Despite over 8 million people illegally entering the U.S. nationwide since January 2021 – more than the individual populations of 38 states – Mayorkas maintains the border is secure.
A spokesperson from CBP told The Center Square in response to calls for Mayorkas to resign or be impeached that “Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of this Department, support its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American people. The Department will continue our work to enforce our laws and secure our border, while building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system. Members of Congress can do better than point the finger at someone else; they should come to the table and work on solutions for our broken system and outdated laws, which they have not updated in over 40 years.”
The spokesperson also said Mayorkas “has no plans to resign” and “after inheriting a broken and dismantled immigration system, the Biden-Harris Administration has managed an unprecedented number of noncitizens seeking to enter the United States, interdicted more drugs, and disrupted more smuggling operations than ever before, all while reversing the cruel and harmful policies of the prior Administration.”