Josh Hawley Reads Alejandro Mayorkas the Riot Act in Senate Homeland Security Hearing

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

There have been multiple calls for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to step down given the disastrous handling of the southern border by the Biden administration. Tuesday was no exception to that. Mayorkas appeared before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security to testify regarding the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2024 for the Department of Homeland Security. When it came time for Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) to question Mayorkas, there were zero punches pulled.


To be perfectly clear, the “RIPS Secretary Mayorkas to SHREDS” in Townhall’s tweet isn’t hyperbole. I don’t know if the good Senator ate his Wheaties before Tuesday morning’s hearing, but he certainly came loaded for bear.

The entire clip is a bit over eight minutes, but it’s worth the listen/watch if you’ve a taste for shredded cabinet official. I’m including some of the highlights below.

Hawley: Let’s talk about the surge in child smuggling and child exploitation that is happening on your watch. Do you know the number of unaccompanied children who have come across the border on your watch?

Mayorkas: Senator, I don’t have that number at my disposal, but I can assure you that we are incredibly dedicated to the safety and security of those children —

Hawley: Well it doesn’t appear so based on what we’re reading today in the New York Times, what we’re reading and seeing from numbers from your own office. The answer to my question, by the way, is 345,807 — that’s the number of unaccompanied children — children — who have come across the border on your watch. Do you know what’s happening to these children? Have you seen this report from the New York Times — “Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the United States” — have you seen this?

Mayorkas: Senator, I have and let me share with you what we are doing —

Hawley: Have you seen these numbers? These are reports of of trafficking and abuse of migrant children — you can see a massive surge that begins to happen when? Oh! When you come to office, in 2021! Huge surge, reports of trafficking, reports of neglect and abuse.


That was just the opening salvo. Hawley proceeded to lay out fact after brutal fact damning the Biden administration and Mayorkas for their failed policies and the devastating effect they’ve had on migrant children. Mayorkas attempted to push back and lay much of the blame at the feet of the Trump administration, but Hawley wasn’t having it. After entering two New York Times articles into the record, including one published Monday, he continued with his takedown of the Homeland Security Secretary.

Hawley: What these articles show, Mr. Secretary, is that the administration has done nothing but facilitate this crisis. You changed Title 42. You allowed hundreds of thousands of migrant children to come across the border. And then you made it worse. When it became a political crisis for you, when that huge surge of kids across the border — because you changed Title 42 — when it became an optics crisis, what did you do? You began pressuring officials and agencies to skip the vetting process and get these kids out as soon as possible to sponsors who weren’t vetted. Here’s the Times again: “As shelters filled with children, the administration began loosening vetting restrictions and urging case managers to speed the process along. You have at every stage facilitated this modern day indentured servitude of minor children. Why should you not be impeached for this?

Mayorkas: Senator, I look forward to discussing this issue further because you are misstating the facts so terribly —

Hawley: I am reading you the facts from articles in the news and your usual modus operandi is what you’re doing again today which is to deny, deny, deny. Why have you permitted 345,000 children to come into this country unaccompanied? Why have you permitted thousands of them to be abused and exploited?

Mayorkas: Senator, what we do is we enforce the law. But let me just say this —

Hawley: You’re not.

Mayorkas: It is stunning to me — stunning — to hear you say that the prior administration reunited children with their parents, when in fact —

Hawley: Oh, I see, so this is their fault? So you’re not going to take any responsibility for the indentured servitude and exploitation of children that is happening on your watch? A moment ago, you were crowing about the fact that you treated children so well. And yet we find tens of thousands of children who are forced to work as slaves because of your policies, and you turn around and blame a prior administration. Mr. Secretary, this is par for the course for you. You do it every time you appear before this committee. You do it every time you appear before Congress. I, for one, am sick and tired of it. And thousands of children are in physical danger — danger — because of what you are doing. You should have resigned long ago. And if you cannot change course, you should be removed from office.


He should be — but I’m not holding my breath.

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