‘You Should be Fired’: Texas Senator Cornyn Tears into Mayorkas over Border Crisis, Fentanyl

Texas GOP Senator John Cornyn ripped into Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday and said he should be fired over his handling of the growing crisis at the southern border and the surge of fentanyl into the United States. 

“My constituents are saying, ‘Who’s accountable? Who’s accountable? Who’s paying the price? Who got fired? Well, you haven’t been fired. You should be fired,” said Cornyn in a Senate Judiciary hearing. “But you haven’t been fired because you were carrying out the policies of the Biden administration. And we’ve seen nothing but death and destruction as a result.”

The heated remarks came as Cornyn questioned Mayorkas on the flow of fentanyl into the U.S. and the ongoing crisis at the southern border — which saw more than 2.4 million encounters with migrants in the U.S. in the fiscal year 2022. 

Over 70,000 Americans die yearly due to fentanyl, mainly Chinese prototypes smuggled across the southern border. 

Democrats and Mayorkas note that the majority of around 90% of seizures of fentanyl occur at the ports of entry. Most individuals arrested are typically citizens of the U.S.

However, Republicans point to the massive numbers of gotaways who slip past Border Patrol agents and between U.S. ports of entry. They note that it is near impossible to know the amount of fentanyl that is being smuggled across the border. 

The exchange happened when Mayorkas and Cornyn clashed over how cartels are trying to overwhelm agents so that they can sneak drugs past them. Mayorkas said he was unaware of the strategy and tried to shift the focus to the seizures at the ports of entry. 

“Approximately 90% of the fentanyl that is brought into…” said Mayorkas. 

“That’s a totally made-up number,” replied Cornyn, cutting him off. “You had nearly one million people get away from Border Patrol…between 2022 and 2023; you have no idea how many of those people were carrying fentanyl or other drugs with them, do you?”

“Senator, the expert view I received is that approximately 90%…” said Mayorkas. 

“That’s a totally made-up number, and you know it,” shot back Cornyn.

Mayorkas then repeated his claim that the majority of fentanyl is transported into the U.S. via vehicles at the ports of entry. 

“The expert view I received is that approximately 90% of the fentanyl is brought in through the ports of entry through passenger vehicles, through trucks, through pedestrians,” maintained Mayorkas. 

Cornyn continued, saying Mayorkas had a “credibility problem with the Congress and the American people.”

“I have unflinching confidence in the integrity of my conduct,” said Mayorkas. 

Mayorkas on the receiving end several tough questions

Secretary Mayorkas was on the receiving end of several tough questions from GOP members, who grilled him over handling the crisis at the border. Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz called him “incompetent” and accused him of being “willing to allow children to be raped to follow political orders.” The questions come as several lawmakers in the Senate and House have called for his impeachment over the crisis.

Mayorkas said the remarks were “revolting,” and a spokesperson for the DHS later followed up with a statement that backed the secretary. 

“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 to enforce our laws and secure our border, protect the nation from terrorism, and improve our cybersecurity, all while building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system. Instead of pointing fingers, Congress should work with the Department and pass legislation to fix our broken immigration system, which has not been updated in over 40 years,” said the spokesperson.