U.S.-Mexico Border Encounters Skyrocket, Set New Record for January

Mexico Border Walls | Source: commons.wikimedia.or

A new record of encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border has been set for the month of January, according to recent data released by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The CBP continues to play a critical role in intercepting dangerous drugs from entering the country, with an increase of 34% for fentanyl and 68% for cocaine compared to the previous month, as stated by Mr. Miller.

The surge in border encounters under the Biden administration is unprecedented. Federal records reveal that over 2.2 million unauthorized migrants were intercepted at the southern border during the fiscal year 2022, and more than 2 million were encountered in fiscal year 2023.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the Secretary of Homeland Security, was impeached on two counts related to his handling of the border crisis. Mayorkas, appointed by President Biden and confirmed by the Senate in 2021, faced impeachment in a closely contested vote of 214-213. The vote was split along party lines, with all Democrats opposing the measure and all but three Republicans supporting it.

The atmosphere was charged when the vote results were announced, greeted with applause from the audience. This comes a week after an evenly split vote of 215-215 failed to impeach Mayorkas.

Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah) played a pivotal role in revisiting the impeachment resolution by changing his prior vote to a “no” in a parliamentary motion. This led to a revised vote count of 214-216. The decisive vote was cast by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who had missed the previous vote due to his treatment for blood cancer.

The impeachment resolution saw the same opposition from three Republicans who had voted against it in the previous vote. The trio included Reps. Ken Buck (R-Co.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), and Tom McLintock (R-Calif.).

This impeachment brings to mind the case of former Secretary of War George Belknap, who in 1876 became the first and until now, the only cabinet member to be impeached by the House. Belknap resigned before the Senate could hold a trial.

The impeachment decision has been met with criticism from the DHS and President Biden. Mia Ehrenberg, a DHS spokesperson, criticized the Republicans for undermining the Constitution for political gains instead of addressing the border crisis. President Biden echoed this sentiment, calling the impeachment an act of “unconstitutional partisanship” and accused House Republicans of politicizing the border issue.

However, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) justified the impeachment, stating that Mayorkas “deserves to be impeached.” He accused Mayorkas of refusing to comply with federal immigration laws, obstructing lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security, and violating his oath of office since his appointment.