Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas described the impeachment proceedings as “baseless” and the accusations brought against him by the Homeland Security Committee as “false.”
“I will defer discussion of the constitutionality of your current efforts to the many respected scholars and experts across the political spectrum who have already held that they run counter to the law,” Mayorkas wrote in a nearly seven-page letter to the committee. “What I will not subject others to is a response to the politically motivated accusations and personal attacks you have made against me.”
Mayorkas said the commission’s “false accusations” do not “shame” him and “do not” distract him “from the mission of law enforcement and the broader public service to which I have devoted most of my career and to which I remain loyal.” “
The House Homeland Security Committee is scheduled to vote on whether to send the articles of impeachment to the House floor for a vote. It is likely to pass despite the lack of evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors, the usual standard for impeachment.
He said in his letter that political disagreements over a “historically contentious” issue are what is happening here, noting that he was at odds with the Trump administration over family separation.
“I have meticulously and enthusiastically adhered to the oath I took six times during my career in public service,” he said.
Mayorkas, a Cuban-American, said he has had a “reverence” for law enforcement ever since his parents brought him to America to escape the communist takeover of Cuba.
“My parents experienced such great loss at the hands of tyranny that an American law enforcement officer stood as a tangible symbol of safety and the rule of law in our new home,” he said. “When I was a boy, my mother would make me jump out of the back seat of our family wagon, approach a uniformed police officer, extend my hand and say thank you.”
He continued in his letter: “Because of all that America means and has given to my family, I was motivated to enter public service.”
This is the first time Mayorkas has spoken at length about the impeachment move since the articles were filed over the weekend, and he offered a forceful and forceful defense of his record as minister.
He recounted his federal service, where he was first appointed to work as a U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, then as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and eventually as deputy secretary of Homeland Security.
“I no longer present and argue evidence in a federal courtroom to persuade a jury to convict a dangerous criminal, but the mission to which I remain dedicated is the same: to protect the American people,” he said in his letter.
As a U.S. attorney, Mayorkas said he has prosecuted RICO cases of national and international significance, “enforcing a wide range of criminal laws.”
In their argument for his impeachment, Republicans said Mayorkas failed to enforce the law at the southern border.
“Instead, you claim that we have failed to enforce our immigration laws,” he added. “This is a mistake.”
The committee accused the secretary of not cooperating with their oversight requests, which he described as “baseless and inaccurate.”
“I have testified before this committee seven times,” he wrote in his letter. “I agreed to testify again and asked to work with your staff to set a mutually agreeable date. You did not respond to my request, changed course, and instead invited me to provide written testimony. Two days later, you issued a statement representing that each member of the committee majority had already issued their decision. I respectfully submit this letter in response.”
Minister Mayorkas said he was cooperating “in good faith” with the committee.
“I have testified more than any other member of the Cabinet,” he said, adding that despite the impeachment attempt, he would remain cooperative with the committee.
He reviewed the administration’s accomplishments, including arresting fentanyl traffickers and deporting criminals, but said there is more to be done at the southern border.
second. Mayorkas called on Congress to undertake legislative reform on the border, and said he was working with the Senate to accomplish this.
“I have been honored to join a bipartisan group of senators over the past few months to provide technical and operational expertise to support their efforts to strengthen our nation’s border security,” he said. “These efforts would yield important new enforcement tools and make a big difference at our borders.”
Mayorkas said he hopes the deal closes and can provide more resources to Border Patrol agents in the field to better protect the border.
This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com