It is no secret that Republicans are not fans of Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) made that abundantly clear during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday about border security and illegal immigration policies under President Joe Biden's administration.
Near the conclusion of a fiery and combative exchange between the two, Sen. Cruz told Sec. Mayorkas, "if you had integrity, you would resign," the Daily Wire reported.
The call for Sec. Mayorkas to resign followed a question from Sen. Cruz about a picture of different colored wristbands that have been found along the border and that the secretary said he had no knowledge of.
"You don't know what they are!" Cruz said. "Mr. Secretary, you have just testified to the American people, you're incompetent at your job, because I've been to the southern border. And if you go to the southern border, along the southern border, you see thousands of these wristbands, because the illegal immigrants wear them."
"The drug cartels, every color corresponds to how many 1000s of dollars they owe the cartels. You turn these cartels into multibillion-dollar criminal organizations," he continued. "And these are modern-day leg irons because these are children being sold into sex slavery, and you don't even know what they are. That is astonishing. Mr. Secretary, how many children have been sold into sex slavery under your administration?"
After Mayorkas refused to answer that question multiple times in a row, Cruz said, "Mr. Secretary, I want to say to you right now your behavior is disgraceful. And the deaths the children assaulted the children raped, they are at your feet. And if you had integrity, you would resign."
"And I will tell you, the men and women of the Border Patrol, they've never had a political leader undermine them. They despise you, Mr. Secretary, because you're willing to let children be raped to follow political orders," the senator added. "This is a crisis. It's a disgrace. And you won't even admit this human tragedy is a crisis."
Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) offered the secretary a chance to respond to that final charge, but Mayorkas said, "What the senator said was revolting. I'm not going to address it," to which Cruz fired back, "Your refusal to do your job is revolting."
🚨 Ted Cruz blasts Mayorkas: “If you had integrity, you would resign… You're willing to let children be raped… This is a crisis. It's a disgrace...”
Mayorkas: “What the Senator said was revolting. I'm not going to address it.”
Cruz: “Your refusal to do your job is revolting!” pic.twitter.com/4euM7lNLHV
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 28, 2023
That wasn't the only highlight of Sen. Cruz's grilling of Sec. Mayorkas, as the senator first tried unsuccessfully to get the secretary to admit to the "crisis" on the border, as well as that both Americans and migrants were "less safe" due to the administration's policies, and compared Mayorkas' repeated refusals to answer to the straightforward "yes" and "no" responses he had received from Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz at an earlier hearing.
Cruz also quizzed Mayorkas on the skyrocketing numbers under the Biden administration of migrant deaths at the border and the number of "gotaways" -- migrants who escape apprehension after illegal entry -- but similarly received no actual answers.
The senator further confronted the secretary on the surge in the number of Customs and Border Protection encounters with migrants at the border since the Biden administration took office, and dismissed as "laughable" the assertion from Mayorkas that the COVID pandemic -- and not the prior administration's tough border security policies -- for the historically low number of encounters in 2020.
Throughout the lengthy exchange, Mayorkas repeatedly attempted to dodge Cruz's pointed questions or provide a canned response, but the senator would have none of it and just as repeatedly called out the secretary for "stonewalling" and "filibustering."
If the Republican-controlled House proceeds with its efforts to file articles of impeachment against the DHS secretary, it seems certain that the Texas senator will be among the first in line to cast his vote to convict and remove him from office.