Tag Archive for: Department of Homeland Security

House GOP Drafts Articles Of Impeachment Against Mayorkas

The House Homeland Security Committee released draft articles of impeachment Sunday against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The first article of impeachment against Mayorkas is for “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and the second is for “breach of the public trust,” according to a copy obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The committee held two hearings recently on impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas that centered around his handling of the southern border and heard the testimonies of Republican attorneys general, legal experts and mothers who’ve lost their kids to fentanyl and an MS-13 gang member.

The first article surrounds the record levels of migrants coming illegally and getting released into the country that has happened under Mayorkas’ watch. One of the ways the committee believes Mayorkas played a role in the issue is through a September 2021 memo in which he directed his agency to limit immigration enforcement.

“The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen therefore should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them,” Mayorkas wrote in the previous memo.

Border Patrol recorded more than 2.2 million encounters of migrants crossing the southern border illegally in fiscal year 2022 and more than 2 million in fiscal year 2023, according to federal data. Between October and December, there have been more than 629,000 illegal encounters at the southern border.

The second article asserts that Mayorkas lied to Congress when he said the southern border is “secure,” “no less secure than it was previously,” that it’s “closed,” and that DHS has “operational control” of the area. One section of the article points to Mayorkas’ previous statements supporting a false narrative accusing Border Patrol agents of “whipping” illegal migrants in September 2021.

A federal investigation later found that the agents didn’t engage in any whipping.

“These articles lay out a clear, compelling, and irrefutable case for Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ impeachment. He has willfully and systemically refused to comply with immigration laws enacted by Congress. He has breached the public trust by knowingly making false statements to Congress and the American people, and obstructing congressional oversight of his department,” the committee’s chairman, Mark Green, said in a statement to the DCNF.

“These facts are beyond dispute, and the results of his lawless behavior have been disastrous for our country. Empowered and enriched cartels, mass fentanyl poisonings, surges of terror watchlist suspects, more criminal illegal aliens causing harm in our communities, and traumatized and exploited migrants will be Secretary Mayorkas’ open-borders legacy,” Green said.

DHS believes the committee’s actions are “unconstitutional and evidence-free,” according to an agency memo obtained by the DCNF.

“This markup is just more of the same political games from House Homeland Security Committee (CHS) Republicans. They don’t want to fix the problem; they want to campaign on it. That’s why they have undermined efforts to achieve bipartisan solutions and ignored the facts, legal scholars and experts, and even the Constitution itself in their quest to baselessly impeach Secretary Mayorkas,” the memo states.

“This farce of an impeachment is a distraction from other vital national security priorities and the work Congress should be doing to actually fix our broken immigration laws,” the memo states.

The committee will hold a markup of the impeachment articles on Tuesday.

AUTHOR

JENNIE TAER

Investigative reporter.

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‘Dead On Arrival’: Mike Johnson Rips Reported Details Of Senate Border Deal

House Speaker Mike Johnson sent a letter to all House Republicans on Friday indicating his opposition to reported details of a border security deal being negotiated in the Senate.

The Senate is currently considering proposals to increase border security and reform the immigrant parole process for asylum seekers, demanded by Republicans, in exchange for authorizing aid to Ukraine to be used in its war against Russia. After alleged details of the plan were reported in the press, Johnson indicated that he would not support the deal should they be included, according to the letter which was obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“I wanted to provide a brief update regarding the supplemental and the border since the Senate appears unable to reach any agreement,” began Johnson in his letter. “If the rumors about the contents of the draft proposals are true, it would have been dead on arrival in the House anyway.”

Letter from Speaker Mike Johnson of Jan. 26, 2024 by Daily Caller News Foundation on Scribd

The negotiations — currently being led by Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — have not yet been completed and a draft proposal has not been published. However, several media reports have alleged contents of the deal, which have spawned conservative opposition.

One alleged aspect of the deal, reported by The New York Times, concerns reform of “humanitarian parole,” a status granted by the Department of Homeland Security that temporarily permits some foreign nationals fleeing persecution to remain in the United States without obtaining a visa. The Biden administration has issued parole status to millions of foreign nationals from nations such as Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, Nicaragua, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

Republicans seek to significantly curtail parole issuance to foreign nationals seeking asylum, who either present themselves at a port of entry or cross the border illegally. The draft proposal in the Senate would reportedly add detention capacity for U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to preclude the issuance of parole to illegal entrants, which is often done due to a paucity of space, the Times reported.

The deal also reportedly includes a reported threshold of migrant encounters per day that, if reached, would suspend parole and processing of foreign migrants. The threshold is reportedly 5,000 individuals per day, though that number is far below the current number of daily migrant encounters by Border Patrol, the Times reported.

“[T]here needs to be a hard cap on parole,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

“[T]hey want this outcome and this outcome is terrible for the American people,” said Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Thursday during a press conference to oppose the deal, which he termed a “stinking pile of crap,” according to The Hill.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell supports the deal, according to a report by Politico. “He’s fully behind the border bill, fully behind the support for Ukraine and is not going to let political considerations of any campaign stand in the way of his support,” said Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, regarding McConnell’s views on the matter.

In 2023, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, known as the “Secure the Border Act,” which has served as the body’s border security proposal in negotiations. The bill would appropriate funds to construct a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, prohibit asylum status for persons who enter the country illegally and expand the authority of law enforcement to remove foreign nationals ordered deported.

Other Republicans, however, have attacked the alleged parole reform for not being strict enough. “What is currently being worked on in the Senate will be meaningless in terms of Border Security and Closure,” wrote former President Donald Trump, the leading candidate for the party’s presidential nomination, in a statement.

Democrats, by contrast, want to preserve parole authority and limit removals of aliens, who have long been settled in the country yet are ordered deported from the United States. “Expanded nationwide expedited removal is an incredibly dangerous tool,” said Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of California to NBC.

“I am emphasizing again today that House Republicans will vigorously oppose any policy proposal from the White House or the Senate that would further incentivize illegal aliens to break our laws,” Johnson wrote.

AUTHOR

ARJUN SINGH

Contributor.

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All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Biden Admin Watered Down Vetting Process For Chinese Illegal Immigrants, Email Shows

The Biden administration drastically simplified the vetting process for Chinese illegal immigrants in April 2023, according to an internal U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) email obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The April 2023 email, which was sent by a CBP supervisor to a “master list” of about 500 Border Patrol agents, instructs CBP officials to radically reduce the number of interview questions for Chinese migrants apprehended after illegally crossing into the country from roughly 40 to just five. The “headquarters guidance” came as border agents were overwhelmed with near-record numbers of illegal crossings.

This scaling back of the interview process fast-tracked the releasing of Chinese illegal immigrants into the U.S. while making it more difficult for CBP agents to identify national security threats, J.J. Carrell, a retired CBP deputy patrol agent in charge, told the DCNF after reviewing the email.

“This policy change has accelerated the time it takes to process Chinese illegal immigrants — this doesn’t make America safer,” Carrell said. “The final result is that dangerous Chinese illegal immigrants will still be released into the U.S.”

“This is just the government covering their ass, so they can say they vetted,” said Carrell. “I believe the government recognizes the threat of Chinese soldiers and spies that are pouring into America, and they want to try and identify these individuals. However, the same government does not want to stop the flow of illegal aliens or Chinese nationals — just the ‘bad ones,’ which is impossible.

While previously agents might spend hours vetting a single Chinese illegal immigrant, the new guidance simplifies the vetting process by reducing the number of questions that agents are required to ask, thereby speeding up the flow of Chinese illegal immigrants into the U.S., Carrell said.

The former law enforcement official who provided the email to the DCNF said human smuggling operations quickly adapted to these new guidelines, coaching Chinese illegal immigrants on how to answer CBP’s shorter list of questions.

“It was almost immediate where [the Chinese illegal immigrants] knew what to say and what not to say,” said the former official, who requested anonymity in fear of U.S. government retribution.

Carrell described smuggling operations as “highly coordinated.” He told the DCNF that illegal immigrants are “coached from the beginning of the journey.”

“The stories are identical,” Carrell said. “The streets and the names they use just differ because of the nations they’re from.”

The April 2023 CBP email also states that Chinese illegal immigrants who pass field agents’ five “basic questions” may be released into the U.S. interior.

“If they do not alert to the above, there is no requirement to further delay current processing pathway — NTA/OR,” the email states.

“NTA/OR” is an abbreviation for “Notice to Appear” / “Order of Recognizance,” according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

In practice, this allows Chinese illegal immigrants entry into the U.S. with a court date several years down the road, the former official said. By November 2023, the backlog of U.S. immigration court cases topped three million, signifying an all-time high.

Since 2022, Border Patrol has encountered approximately 35,000 Chinese illegal immigrants at the border, according to CBP data. Between 2022 and 2023, Border Patrol encounters with Chinese illegal immigrants surged over 1,000%, according to government records.

After answering agents’ “basic questions,” Chinese illegal immigrants are “sent out wherever they go, whether that’s contracted through Catholic Charities or other nonprofits,” the former official said.

‘Basic Questions’

The new guidance directs agents to ask five “basic questions” concerning “Military Service,” “Universities,” “POB/Region,” “Employment” and “Political Party.” All the questions are aimed at determining whether or not a Chinese illegal immigrant poses a national security threat, the former official told the DCNF.

“They’re really trying to see their ties to either terrorism or the government itself,” the former official said.

Questions regarding “Military Service,” “Universities,” “Employment” and “Political Party” are meant to tease out potential ties to the Chinese government, Chinese Communist Party or Chinese military. The question on “POB/Region” relates to terrorism, the former official told the DCNF.

“If there is a Yes to any of the above, they are then referred and transported to [redacted] for an in-depth interview by Tactical Terrorism Response Team,” the April 2023 email states.

The Tactical Terrorism Response Team (TTRT) is “part of the sector intelligence unit,” which is responsible for conducting in-depth questioning for Chinese illegal immigrants with potential terror or Chinese government ties, the former official said.

“Think of TTRT as the vetting unit before an individual is determined to be a national security risk or a terrorist,” Carrell, the former CBP agent, told the DCNF. “If TTRT determines that the individual is a security risk, that individual is turned over to Joint Terrorism Task Force for further investigation and deportation.”

Despite these concerns, DHS’s Special Interest Alien (SIA) list does not include immigrants from China.

SIA are defined as a “non-U.S. person who, based on an analysis of travel patterns, potentially poses a national security risk to the United States or its interests,” according to DHS. “Often such individuals or groups are employing travel patterns known or evaluated to possibly have a nexus to terrorism. DHS analysis includes an examination of travel patterns, points of origin and/or travel segments that are tied to current assessments of national and international threat environments.”

‘Bogged Down’

The vetting system for Chinese illegal immigrants in place prior to the April 2023 email was overwhelmed by the recent surge in crossings at the southern border, the former law enforcement official told the DCNF.

Under the previous system, it took up to four hours to process Chinese illegal immigrants, the former official told the DCNF.

“At the very beginning, what was happening was either at the station level — if they couldn’t get them to the processing center if it was too bogged down — or at the sector level at the processing center, the agent would then have to go through a long list of questions and it was taking almost four hours per person,” the former official said.

Carrell said the CBP vetting process was far more stringent for Chinese illegal immigrants during the Trump administration.

“If I received a Chinese national, we’d input them into the DHS database, look through [the National Crime Information Center] for criminal history in America — and nine times out of 10 these people have never been in America — so they’ll come back clean,” Carrell told the DCNF. “I would then set that individual up for deportation and [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] would fly him or her back to China. Never in a million years would I then process that Chinese national and then just release them into America.”

“Now, that person would be interviewed, put into the database and then just simply street-released,” Carrell said.

The DCNF reviewed a copy of CBP’s longer questionnaire for Chinese illegal immigrants, which the former official also shared.

While field agents are no longer required to vet Chinese illegal immigrants using the longer questionnaire of approximately 40 questions, TTRT still uses that questionnaire to vet those who’ve failed the five “basic questions,” the former official said.

In addition to the five “basic questions,” CBP’s longer questionnaire further directs agents to ask Chinese illegal immigrants about “prior arrests,” the “handling of weapons/firearms,” “smuggling fees,” and various other matters.

DHS and CBP did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

AUTHOR

PHILIP LENCZYCKI

Daily Caller News Foundation investigative reporter, political journalist, and China watcher. Twitter: @LenczyckiPhilip.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Mayorkas Enabled Huge ‘Waste And Abuse’ Of Taxpayer Dollars In Handling Of Border Crisis, GOP Probe Finds

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is directly responsible for massive “waste and abuse” of taxpayer dollars in his handling of the crisis at the southern border, according to a new report by the House Homeland Security Committee first obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Under Mayorkas’ leadership, the use of hotel rooms to house illegal migrants instead of taxpayer-funded beds in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities, along with the cancellation of former President Donald Trump’s border wall construction, have resulted in massive overspending and waste on the American taxpayers’ dime, according to the report. The report marks the final portion of Committee Chairman Mark Green’s investigation into Mayorkas that kicked off in June.

Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green filed articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, a move that Democrats killed. The Homeland Security Committee is set to take up the proceedings early into 2024, a committee staffer told the DCNF.

“In keeping with the House of Representatives’ vote last month to refer articles of impeachment against Secretary Mayorkas to our Committee, we will be moving swiftly into impeachment proceedings in the new year,” the committee staffer said.

ICE projected that each bed costs $142.44 or less in its fiscal year 2024 budget request to Congress, according to the report. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has contracted companies to help house illegal migrants in hotels, a much more costly decision.

“From halting construction on a bought-and-paid-for border wall to leaving detention beds empty and empowering anti-enforcement officials at ICE, Secretary Mayorkas’ reckless decision-making and open-borders policies have led to the waste and abuse of billions of taxpayer dollars,” Green said in a statement to the DCNF.

The administration awarded a roughly $86 million contract to house illegal migrant families at hotels for the cost of $392 per night. An April 2022 inspector general’s report found that “ICE did not adequately justify the need for the sole source contract to house migrant families and spent approximately $17 million for hotel space and services at six hotels that went largely unused between April and June 2021.”

“ICE’s sole source contract with Endeavors resulted in millions of dollars being spent on unused hotel space,” the inspector general reported.

Additionally, the committee’s report found that states are having to bear the brunt of the costs of housing illegal migrants that DHS is “purposefully passing.” Each day, it costs New York city roughly $339 to house each family and $184 for single adults.

“Our most recent report showed how cities and states across this country are paying the financial price of those policies. What this evidence shows is that the federal government is also wasting taxpayer resources on a massive scale. This latest report provides much-needed transparency for the American people, who should not be forced to pay the cost of Mayorkas’ refusal to enforce the law any longer,” Green said.

AUTHOR

JENNIE TAER

Investigative reporter.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Top GOP Reps Probe Mayorkas Over DHS Board With Ex-Intel Officials Who Signed Hunter Biden Laptop Letter

Top Republican lawmakers requested information from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas regarding an agency group that will include former intelligence officials who signed a letter suggesting the Hunter Biden laptop was a “Russian information operation,” according to a copy of a Thursday letter first obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

DHS tapped former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former CIA Operations Officer Paul Kolbe, all of whom signed an October 2020 letter casting doubt on the legitimacy of the Hunter Biden laptop as Russian disinformation, to join the Homeland Intelligence Experts Group. In response, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green and Republican Texas Rep. August Pfluger are demanding to know DHS’ selection process for the group’s members, according to a copy of the letter.

The Hunter Biden laptop contents were authenticated by the Daily Caller News FoundationThe New York TimesThe Washington PostCBS News and other media outlets. No evidence currently exists to suggest the laptop was a Russian disinformation operation.

“Multiple members of this Homeland Intelligence Expert Group have shown an utter disregard for the truth, not to mention brazen political bias. Does Secretary Mayorkas really think appointing leading Russian-collusion hoaxers will increase trust in his department? Clearly, he doesn’t care,” Green said in a statement to the DCNF.

Both Clapper and Brennan have been previously criticized for misleading the American public. On multiple occasions, Clapper gave incorrect information to Congress.

Clapper gave “inconsistent testimony” about contacts he had with the media while in office, Republicans charged. Additionally, Brennan denied that CIA officials had hacked the computers of Senate Intelligence Committee staffers, a statement that was later proven false.

“James Clapper and John Brennan have no place in positions of power—much less on a board of so-called experts where they will surely continue to serve as partisan Democrat operatives disguised as national security officials. The Department of Homeland Security must dispense with its disinformation boards and expert groups and focus on the real national security issues facing our country—such as the thousands of illegal migrants crossing our southern border on a daily basis,” Pfluger, who serves as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence, said in a statement to the DCNF.

The group will meet four times per year to advise DHS on intelligence and national security efforts regarding issues such as “terrorism, fentanyl, transborder issues, and emerging technology,” DHS said.

DHS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

AUTHOR

JENNIE TAER

Investigative reporter.

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All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

House Committee Says Mayorkas ‘Enriched The Cartels’ After Second Phase Of Republican-Led Investigation

The House Homeland Security Committee released the findings of the second part of their probe Thursday into Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, finding he “enriched the cartels,” according to a copy of the report obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Under Mayorkas’ leadership as DHS secretary, cartels have gained more control over the southern border and smuggled more individuals and contraband across it, according to the report. The first phase of House Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green’s probe focused on Mayorkas’ alleged “dereliction” of his duty as secretary of DHS.

Cartel smuggling of illegal migrants has become a billion-dollar industry as illegal immigration has surged, The New York Times reported in 2022. Border Patrol recorded a record of more than 2.2 million illegal migrant encounters along the southern border in fiscal year 2022, according to federal data.

“Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ open-borders policies have empowered and emboldened some of the most vicious, ruthless, and savage individuals and groups in the world. Whether it is transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) like the cartels and human smuggling organizations in the Western Hemisphere, potential national security threats from countries who sponsor terrorism, or those coming from major state adversaries like China and Russia, the wide-open Southwest border has given America’s enemies all over the globe an opportunity to infiltrate the homeland—an opportunity too good to pass up,” the report stated.

Several House Republicans, including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Pat Fallon of Texas and Andy Biggs of Arizona, have already filed articles of impeachment against Mayorkas. There is, however, a faction of House Republicans who are going to wait for the conclusion of Green’s investigation before backing impeachment, according to congressional staffers who previously spoke with the DCNF.

Green has also yet to call for Mayorkas’ impeachment.

“We’ve got some people that are sharing some information with us that there’s potential fraud, so we’re going to look very hard at all of these things, prepare a packet, show it to the American people, and then if it warrants impeachment, we’ll hand it off to Chairman Jordan. I think it will, based on the information I know,” Green previously told the DCNF.

DHS believes that the blame lies on Congress, which it urges to pass immigration reform legislation.

“Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of the Department, support its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American people. The Department will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border, protect the United States from terrorism, and improve our cybersecurity, all while building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system. Instead of pointing fingers and pursuing baseless attacks, Congress should work with the Department and pass comprehensive legislation to fix our broken immigration system, which has not been updated in decades,” a DHS spokesperson previously told the DCNF regarding Green’s probe.

AUTHOR

JENNIE TAER

Investigative reporter.

RELATED ARTICLE: EXCLUSIVE: Feds Flagged Nearly 75,000 Illegal Migrants As Potential National Security Risks

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Legal Group Sues Biden Admin For Allegedly Concealing FBI Background Investigation Into Mayorkas

America First Legal Foundation sued the Biden administration Wednesday for allegedly concealing information regarding an FBI investigation into Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, according to a copy of the complaint first obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The lawsuit against both the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) asks that the agencies release the documents related to the Mayorkas probe, according to the complaint. The conservative group was previously denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the records regarding the FBI’s investigation into Mayorkas’ background.

“The American people deserve to have access to the files we requested to understand the extent to which Secretary Mayorkas disclosed his foreign ties and contacts, among other things. Disclosing these records is consistent with what the FBI did during the Trump Administration when it released portions of the SF-86 for then Attorney General Jeff Sessions, so there is simply no reason why they should not provide the same information for Secretary Mayorkas,” Gene Hamilton, America First Legal Vice President and General Counsel, said in a statement to the DCNF.

The lawsuit’s timing coincides with increasing calls from Republicans in Congress to impeach Mayorkas, mainly for his handling of the security of the southern border.

One of the issues the group cites is an inspector general’s report from 2015 that found that Mayorkas, while serving as the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), had personally intervened “outside the normal adjudicatory process” to help foreign investors in the EB-5 visa program who were connected to top Democrats.

“Secretary Mayorkas’s abysmal performance has led to the introduction of several impeachment resolutions in Congress,” America First Legal said in a statement shared with the DCNF. The Secretary’s dereliction of duty regarding our immigration system has turned America into a borderless nation, and every state is feeling the consequences of allowing millions of illegal immigrants to flood into the United States. While Americans are dying at the hands of illegal aliens that should never have been allowed to enter America, the Biden Administration and Secretary Mayorkas have turned a blind eye.”

America First Legal submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the FBI on January 6 for “the FBI background investigation, Form SF-86, and any supporting security clearance documentation, including waiver forms [completed] by Alejandro Mayorkas or his designees for the purpose of allowing the FBI to conduct a background investigation as part of his nomination[s].”

The FBI responded on January 13, denying it the request. America First Legal appealed the denial for the reason that the records were submitted to Congress, but the FBI reiterated its denial.

AUTHOR

JENNIE TAER

Investigative reporter.

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House Homeland Security Committee To Spotlight Cartel Violence In Next Phase Of Mayorkas Probe

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green will begin the second phase of his investigation into Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas next week to focus on the role of cartels in the border crisis ensuing under his leadership, a committee spokesperson exclusively told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The first hearing will be from a House Homeland subcommittee July 12 on the cartels’ smuggling of fentanyl across the southern border and its effects on the American people, the committee spokesperson told the DCNF. The first phase of Green’s probe focused on Mayorkas’ alleged “dereliction” of his duty as secretary of DHS.

“For over two years, President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas’ refusal to enforce our nation’s laws and their cancellation of effective border security policies have become an integral part of the drug cartels’ business model,” Green said in a statement to the DCNF.

The committee spokesperson also pointed to previous statements Mayorkas has made, including his apparent ignorance to the fact that Mexican cartels use wristbands to track their illegal migrant smuggling enterprises.

Mayorkas also testified to Congress that DHS has “operational control” of the southern border, which his then-Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz subsequently contradicted.

Between October 2022 and May, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended 20,923 foreigners with criminal histories and 442 gang members, according to nationwide federal data. Of additional concern to the committee, illicit fentanyl that’s largely smuggled across the southern border is part of the reason for the spike in drug overdose deaths in the U.S., including the more than 100,000 that occurred in 2021.

“Consequently, a record number of families across this country have had to mourn the loss of sons and daughters, fathers and mothers to fentanyl poisonings. Also devastating is the horrendous violence and intimidation those making the journey to the border and law enforcement personnel responding to the crisis face at the hands of cartels,” Green said.

Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Pat Fallon of Texas and Andy Biggs of Arizona have already filed articles of impeachment against Mayorkas. There is, however, a faction of House Republicans who are going to wait for the conclusion of Green’s investigation before backing impeachment, according to congressional staffers who recently spoke with the DCNF.

“Homeland Republicans will not stop in our investigation of Mayorkas’ failure to uphold the duties of his office and our efforts to ensure this administration is held accountable for ceding operational control of our border to these violent organizations,” Green said in his statement to the DCNF.

AUTHOR

JENNIE TAER

Investigative reporter.

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Rep. Jim Jordan Subpoenas Former Head Of Disinformation Board

The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s short-lived Disinformation Governance Board Monday.

Nina Jankowicz, who chaired the board from its April 2022 inception to its May 2022 dissolution, promoted a variety of false claims popular among Democrats. She blamed DHS’s decision to shut down the board on right-wing disinformation, asserting that it was part of a broader campaign. The committee’s subpoena requests general information about the board’s formation and goals.

“We have repeatedly sought information from you concerning your official actions and duties as a DHS employee and former Executive Director of the Board, including how the Board intended to define disinformation, how it planned to collect information and from what sources, how it anticipated countering disinformation, and how it proposed to protect First Amendment rights,” committee chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio wrote in a letter to Jankowicz. “To date, however, you have declined to comply voluntarily with our request for a transcribed interview.”

Although DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claimed that the board would “not infringe on free speech… civil rights [or] civil liberties” because it would have an international focus, documents released by Republican Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Charles Grassley of Iowa showed that the board would focus on issues by topic, not by national origin.

Biden administration officials expressed particular concern about “conspiracy theories about the validity and security of elections,” “disinformation related to the origins and effects of COVID-19 vaccines or the efficacy of masks,” and “falsehoods surrounding U.S. government immigration policy,” in one document released by the senators.

Republican elected officials also expressed concern with DHS’s decision to tap Jankowicz to lead the board. A former fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Jankowicz repeatedly accused GOP officials and activists of spreading disinformation. She claimed that opponents of Critical Race Theory are  engaging in “disinformation for profit,” and that Hunter Biden’s laptop was a Republican “campaign product.”

“There’s never been any indication that Hunter Biden was involved in anything untoward,” she said of Hunter Biden’s Burisma Energy board position. “It certainly has nothing to do with Joe Biden’s policies toward Ukraine.”

Jankowicz registered in November 2022 as a foreign agent lobbying for a British firm. The Centre for Information Resilience describes itself as a “non-profit social enterprise dedicated to countering disinformation, exposing human rights abuses, and combating online behaviour harmful to women and minorities.”

AUTHOR

MICHAEL GINSBERG

Congressional correspondent.

RELATED ARTICLE: DHS Says There’s ‘No Need’ For Disinformation Board

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Northern Border Agents Were Asked To Deploy To Florida Due To Massive Illegal Migrant Surge

Agents patrolling the northern border were asked to deploy to Florida due to a large surge in illegal migrants in recent months, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told the Daily Caller News Foundation Friday.

The Miami sector has seen increasing flows of illegal migrants with a surge of hundreds of them reaching the Florida coast in a matter of days in early January, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recorded more than 1,300 migrant encounters. For the last few months, agents stationed along the northern border have been dealing with their own migrant surge and deployments to address another surge at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“While the southwest border with Mexico continues to be the most problematic area for border security, Biden has made it possible for people and cartels to exploit weakness on all our borders including our coastal borders and northern border. Robbing Peter to pay Paul by moving resources from one area to another is, and has never been the answer, while it might help one area, it weakens the area the agents vacated. This Administration has proven it has little ability and care to protect our borders thereby safeguarding US Citizens,” Judd told the DCNF.

Border Patrol agents stationed along the U.S.-Canadian border, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak, confirmed to the DCNF that they were asked to volunteer.

“What’s next?” one of the agents told the DCNF. “We’re all being stretched pretty thin.”

“The situation in Florida isn’t uncommon. However, it wasn’t consistent as it has appeared to be recently. Once the boats started showing up consistently, and with hundreds of apprehensions per vessel, the need for additional agents brought about the requests for agents who wanted to volunteer to deploy down to Miami Sector,” a second northern border agent told the DCNF.

The situation has also led Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to send in additional state resources, including the National Guard, and declare an emergency. In one instance, two cruise ships in the area came to the rescue.

CBP told the DCNF that it had deployed additional resources to address Florida’s influx of illegal migrants.

“Due to maritime migrant fluctuations in Florida, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has deployed additional Border Patrol and Air and Marine Agents to the south Florida area of operations. These additional resources along with our integrated collaboration with our federal, state, and key stakeholders, allows for a rapid and efficient response to any increase in migratory flows. CBP seeks to deter and disrupt human smuggling activities by transnational criminal organizations and ensure our personnel are properly equipped to maintain border security,” a CBP spokesperson said.

AUTHOR

JENNIE TAER

Investigative reporter.

RELATED ARTICLE: American Dissatisfaction With Immigration Levels Increases As Border Crisis Continues: POLL

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Migrant Encounters At The Southern Border Hit New All-Time Record

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) migrant encounters at the southern border surpassed 250,000 for the month of December, the highest ever recorded, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) source, who requested anonymity as they weren’t authorized to speak publicly, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The new total surpasses May 2022’s more than 241,000 migrant encounters, which was the highest DHS ever recorded before December 2022. The total encounters include Border Patrol and Office of Field Operations encounters of migrants both at and between U.S. ports of entry.

Fox News first reported the new record.

In December, Republican states and the Biden administration fought over whether or not to scrap Title 42, the Trump-era public health order used to quickly expel illegal migrants to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Illegal immigration surged during that time period in places like El Paso, Texas, where hundreds of migrants crossed into the area in a matter of days in anticipation of Title 42 expiring on Dec. 21 due to a previous court ruling that the Supreme Court quickly paused.

The influx in El Paso drew the attention of President Joe Biden, who visited the area Jan. 8 in his first border visit.

Biden’s tenure in office has been marked by years of record migrant encounters. In fiscal year 2022, CBP encountered another record of more than 2.3 million at the southern border.

Biden announced Jan. 5 new efforts to expel illegal migrants from Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua to Mexico. The plan also means that migrants from those countries who don’t cross illegally will have the opportunity to apply for asylum at U.S. ports of entry if they have a U.S. sponsor.

CBP didn’t respond to a request for comment.

AUTHOR

JENNIE TAER

Investigative reporter.

RELATED VIDEO: CA Rep: Legal Immigrants Are FURIOUS With Illegal Migrants Cutting The Line

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

After Coast Guard Academy ‘Excommunicated’ Cadets For Refusing Vaccine, Pleas For Reinstatement Go Unanswered

  • The Coast Guard Academy has not reinstated seven Coast Guard cadets discharged for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine after the academy denied religious exemption requests, representatives of the cadets told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • The cadets hoped a new law nixing the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate would allow them to re-join.
  • “They are the only cadets that are getting screwed,” retired Coast Guard Vice Adm. William Dean Lee told the DCNF.

Seven Coast Guard cadets booted in September after commanders denied their vaccine exemption appeals were not reinstated after a last ditch effort to allow them to start the new semester, which began Wednesday, representatives of the cadets told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The cadets hoped that law overturning the Department of Defense (DOD) COVID-19 vaccine mandate would persuade the Academy to permit the cadets, already behind by one semester, to re-join with their cohort, one of the cadets involved and advocates for the group told the DCNF. Among the military schools, the Coast Guard Academy, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in peacetime, is the only one to have officially dismissed unvaccinated cadets, the advocates said.

“I sent a letter to the Coast Guard Academy superintendent asking him to use his administrative powers to have us go back in since the [National Defense Authorization Act] was signed by the president and the mandate should be lifted soon,” Sophia Galdamez, one of the seven discharged, told the DCNF.

“However, all he responded with is that it’s out of his control, and you don’t have authority over that decision. And for me and my family to have a happy holidays,” she added.

Although operating under DHS authority, the Coast Guard went along with the mandate after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced it in August 2021 as the FDA officially approved the first COVID-19 vaccines for use. Congress’ defense bill for 2023, signed into law on Dec. 23, overturned the service-wide vaccine mandate.

Despite being a semester behind the other cadets in their cohort, the seven could still achieve their commissions if the Coast Guard allowed them to rejoin, retired Coast Guard Vice Adm. William Dean Lee, who, along with retired Rear Adm. Peter J. Brown, is lobbying to have the cadets reinstated, told the DCNF. Cadet processing began Wednesday, while classes are slated to begin on Jan. 9.

After initially refusing the vaccine on the grounds of religious belief in the fall of 2021, “I was immediately treated differently than all my other classmates that were vaccinated,” Galdamez told the DCNF. “I was bullied by my command and administrators, faculty at the academy.”

Administrators confined her behind a plexiglass barrier at the back of the classroom, she told the DCNF. One teacher pulled her aside to commend her performance as a student, but said her unvaccinated status would impede academic progress, Galdamez said.

She and her fellow unvaccinated cadets submitted requests for religious exemptions, which authorities are required to review on an individual basis.

Citing the government’s “compelling interest in mission accomplishment,” the force’s time sensitive role in emergency response and high rate of interaction with the general public, Coast Guard adjudicator Capt. Eugenio S. Anzano shot down Galdamez’s exemption request in a letter, dated March 4, 2022, that was shared with the DCNF.

“I do not question the sincerity of your religious belief or whether vaccine requirements substantially burden your religious practice. The Coast Guard reserves the opportunity to make these determinations, but I do not need to address them here to resolve your request,” Anzano wrote.

When the Coast Guard denied Galdamez’s request, she appealed, but the answer remained firm. The Coast Guard struck down Galdamez’ appeal on May 2, according to a copy of the response letter shared with the DCNF.

Days after reporting to campus for the fall semester on Aug. 15, the cadets were called into the office and told they had 24 hours to pack and leave campus, Galdamez said, a statement echoed by Michael Rose, a pro-bono legal counsel for several of the cadets, according to The Day newspaper. Two of the cadets did not have homes to which to return.

The cadets were formally discharged on Sept. 23, according to Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services, where Rose serves as general counsel.

“I sent letters to the academy, senators have written letters on [sic] the cadets’ behalf. And so far we have heard nothing regarding our reinstatement or if I’d be able to finish my degree and commissions,” Galdamez told the DCNF Wednesday.

Academy superintendent Rear Adm. William Kelley acknowledged receipt of Galdamez’ letter and wished her a “good holiday season” but did not indicate future action in an email dated Dec. 22 that was shared with the DCNF.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina wrote to Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Linda Fagan pressing for the servicemembers’ reinstatement, according to a Dec. 22 letter the senator’s office shared with the DCNF.

Galdamez is one of thousands of servicemembers who remain in limbo as the DOD develops new guidance on COVID-19 vaccination, while lawsuits challenging the legality of the mandate and whether military leaders appropriately considered exemption requests continue to make their way through court.

The Air Force and Navy and Marine Corps have been placed under an temporary injunction against discharging unvaccinated troops, while the Army has paused separations.

“They are the only cadets that are getting screwed,” Lee told the DCNF.

The National Defense Authorization Act gave DOD a 30 day period to develop new COVID-19 guidance but stopped short of calling for reinstatement or restitution to the roughly 8,400 already discharged for refusing to receive the vaccine.

“The Coast Guard, in coordination with the Department of Defense, is evaluating policies with respect to previously separated members, including cadets,” a spokesperson for the Coast Guard told the DCNF.

“I think it’s important to let the service members back in, and for the service members to accept going back in, because this mandate and then the subsequent denial and basically excommunication of all these service members was getting rid of a good group of people … enlisted and officers alike that display true leadership qualities that are needed in our military at the moment,” Galdamez said to the DCNF.

The Coast Guard Academy did not return a phone call from the DCNF.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Reporter.

RELATED ARTICLE: Coast Guard Illegally Denied Hundreds Of Vaccine Exemptions, Attorneys Say

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Kevin McCarthy Threatens Biden’s DHS Secretary With Impeachment If He Doesn’t Resign

House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatened President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas with impeachment Tuesday during a visit to the border in El Paso, Texas.

McCarthy, who is vying for the House speakership, said Republicans will push for Mayorkas’ impeachment if he refuses to step down. He was joined by several Republican colleagues, including Texas Rep. Tony Gonzales, who represents a southern border district, that made the trip to show support for Border Patrol.

“His actions have produced the greatest wave of illegal immigration in recorded history. Our country may never recover from Secretary Mayorkas’ dereliction of duty. This is why today I am calling on the secretary to resign. He cannot and must not remain in that position,” McCarthy said.

“If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign, House Republicans will investigate every order, every action and every failure to determine whether we can begin an impeachment inquiry,” McCarthy said.

The Republican Study Committee was previously pushing for Mayorkas’ impeachment, but McCarthy argued that he “wants to make the case before we go for the jugular,” Axios reported in April.

Under Mayorkas’ leadership, federal border authorities have been overwhelmed by a surge in illegal immigration. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered a record of over 2.3 million migrants in fiscal year 2022 and more than 230,000 at the start of fiscal year 2023.

Mayorkas, however, continues to insist that the southern border is “secure.” He most recently made the assertion during a House Homeland Security Committee on Nov. 15.

For months, Republican lawmakers have called on Mayorkas to resign for making the false claim.

“I’m not unhappy. I’m pissed. Secretary Mayorkas needs to resign: he’s incompetent,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham told Martha MacCallum, host of Fox News’ “The Story,” in September, adding “The border is not closed. It’s been surrendered.”

“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,” DHS said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“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 have not been overhauled in over 40 years,” the department added.

AUTHOR

JENNIE TAER

Investigative reporter.

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘Even Worse’: Illegal Migrants Will Flood The US Border When One Major Trump-Era Policy Ends

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Government Officials Have A Special Portal To Flag Facebook Posts For Censorship

The Department of Homeland Security has left open a special feature that allows government officials to flag Facebook posts for misinformation after scrapping a controversial advisory board tasked with developing guidelines for social media censorship, the Intercept reported Monday.

DHS announced plans for a Disinformation Governance Board to “develop guidelines, standards, guardrails to ensure that the work that has been ongoing for nearly 10 years does not infringe on people’s free speech rights, rights of privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in May, according to The Hill. While DHS shuttered the initiative after an onslaught of bipartisan opposition decrying the potential censorship, the Intercept found through an analysis of public and leaked documents that government efforts to police tech companies goes on.

Those activities include a Facebook portal only accessible by government and law enforcement representatives to formally request the platform kill or label alleged misinformation, according to the Intercept. A leaked set of slides contains instructions on how to operate the system, and the URL to access the site — facebook.com/xtakedowns/login — was still active at the time of publication.

“Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t. It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain,” a DHS official told a Microsoft representative in February, according to the Intercept.

The U.S. government has for years discussed the scope and scale of online content moderation the government should engage in, as well as how to compel social media platforms to flag or remove “misinformation,” “disinformation” and “malinformation,” the Intercept reported, citing meeting minutes and records appended to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

The department now considers rooting out misinformation online as a critical element of its overall mission, according to a draft of the 2022 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review reviewed by the Intercept.

While the document highlights counter-terrorism as DHS’s primary objective, it acknowledges that “misinformation and disinformation spread online” can exacerbate terrorist threats from “domestic violent extremists,” according to the Intercept. It calls for DHS to use advanced computer analytical software and hire experts “to better understand how threat actors use online platforms to introduce and spread toxic narratives intended to inspire or incite violence.”

However, DHS has defined the “critical infrastructure” threatened by domestic terrorists to encompass trust in government, public health and election security, according to the Intercept.

“No matter your political allegiances, all of us have good reason to be concerned about government efforts to pressure private social media platforms into reaching the government’s preferred decisions about what content we can see online,” Adam Goldstein, the vice president of research at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, told the Intercept.

Agencies under DHS — Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Science and Technology Directorate and the Secret Service — all have directives to combat misinformation online, the Intercept reported, citing a DHS Inspector General report from August.

Meta and DHS did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Reporter.

RELATED ARTICLE: GOP Senators Release Documents Showing Biden Admin Lied About Disinfo Board

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Biden Admin Promises Legal ‘Response’ After Court Declares DACA Illegal

Federal Appeals Court Rules DACA Illegal


The Biden administration says it will take legal action after a court declared Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal Wednesday.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling “deeply disappointed” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who said his department will work with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to devise an “appropriate legal response.” The case will go back to a lower court while nearly 600,000 DACA recipients currently in the U.S. will be able to remain in the program.

“The Department of Justice respectfully disagrees with the decision and will continue to vigorously defend the lawfulness of DACA as this case proceeds,” DOJ spokesperson Dena Iverson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Wednesday’s decision is part of a 2018 lawsuit led by nine Republican states, contesting the legality of then-President Barack Obama’s 2012 program.

“DACA—part of Dems’ program to flood our country with aliens—is illegal & will stay enjoined. Huge victory for the Rule of Law in America!,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wrote in a tweet Wednesday.

The Biden administration attempted in August to codify DACA as a federal regulation before the latest decision. A federal judge ruled in July 2021 that the Biden administration couldn’t process new DACA applications, which the administration appealed.

“Today, we are taking another step to do everything in our power to preserve and fortify DACA, an extraordinary program that has transformed the lives of so many Dreamers,” Mayorkas said at the time.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says it will continue to accept DACA renewal requests and will accept new requests without processing them.

DHS didn’t respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

AUTHOR

JENNIE TAER

Investigative reporter.

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