Scoop: Homeland Security Committee's focus for second impeachment hearing
Driving the news: The panel is set to hear from an array of witnesses on Thursday ranging from a law enforcement official to people who lost family members as a result of violent crimes or drug overdoses.
- The panel will hear from Tammy Nobles, who previously testified to Congress about the death of her 20-year-old daughter Kayla Hamilton. The suspect in Hamilton's death, unnamed because they are a minor, is reportedly an undocumented immigrant who was previously arrested in El Salvador for being associated with the MS-13 gang.
- Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels — a 40-year veteran of law enforcement who has previously been appointed to several specialty assignments by Arizona governors — is also set to testify before the committee about his experiences trying to combat border-related issues.
What they're saying: Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) has repeatedly argued that the Biden administration's policies are responsible for the surge of migrants at the border.
- "The tragedies of the past three years are both heartbreaking and infuriating," Green said in a statement to Axios.
- "Heartbreaking, because those killed by fentanyl poisoning or by illegal or inadmissible aliens are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters—all now taken from those who love them."
- "Infuriating, because these tragedies were preventable. Secretary Mayorkas has failed to enforce the laws of the United States, and the consequences have been disastrous."
Between the lines: Republicans are trying to make the case that the Biden administration's border policies have made Americans less safe.
- However, undocumented immigrants are actually significantly less likely to be arrested for violent crimes than U.S. citizens and many border cities are safer than similarly sized cities elsewhere.
The big picture: Lawmakers on the panel — which focused its first hearing on how the crisis has impacted border states — sparred over the grounds for impeachment, with Republicans asserting that the secretary's handling of policy is grounds for impeachment while Democrats argue they are politicizing the panel.
- Mayorkas has defended his tenure, alleging during recent remarks that Congress has stalled on providing supplemental funding requested to secure the border.
- The Department of Homeland Security has repeatedly blasted the proceedings, alleging it is "a baseless political attack that distracts from national security priorities and finding real solutions" in a recent memo where they accused the panel of conducting "sham hearings" and defended Mayorkas' record.