If America’s southern border is to be secured, Congress must “use the power of the purse to bring the president to his knees and [make him] sit at the table,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, says.
President Joe Biden’s border policies are enriching China and harming the American people, Roy argues.
“The fact of the matter is we know that 90% of the precursors or the finished product fentanyl is coming from China,” Roy says, adding that Biden’s border policies are serving China “because they make money on it [and by] giving China a foothold in Mexico.”
Congress should impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and hold him accountable for the crisis at the southern border, Roy says.
“He lied to us,” Roy says of Mayorkas. “We know that he knew full well that he didn’t have operational control [of the border] when he said he did.”
Roy joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to explain the case for impeaching Mayorkas and what Republicans are doing to secure the border.
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript:
Virginia Allen: It is my pleasure today to welcome to the show Texas Congressman Chip Roy. Congressman, thanks for being here.
Rep. Chip Roy: Great to be on.
Allen: About a year ago, you asked, under oath, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas if he had operational control of the southern border. He said “yes.” Now, just recently, Rep. Dan Bishop asked Mayorkas that same question and Mayorkas responded that under the definition of operational control, it’s impossible to really meet that definition, that no one has ever met that definition of operational control. Your response?
Roy: Well, in the Judiciary Committee hearing in which he looked at me and said that he did have operational control, I had a poster board with the text of the statute laying out in the Secure Fence Act from, I think it’s 2006, where it specifically says that the secretary shall maintain operational control of the border and it lays out what that is, and it includes stopping illegal trafficking of narcotics, illegal trafficking of human beings.
And he said, “Yeah, we have operational control.” In fact, he was a little bit cocky about it, kind of said, “Oh, yeah,” kind of snickered, and we called him out for it. We knew that wasn’t true.
Of course you don’t have operational control of the border. The cartels have control of the border. You can’t have 8,000 people in a day coming across, 72,000 Americans die from fentanyl poisoning and say you have operational control. It’s clearly a lie.
So it was great. Yesterday, Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green raised this issue. In fact, I think he played the clip or showed that exchange that I’d had with Secretary Mayorkas. And Mayorkas, as you just pointed out, he backpedaled. And Dan Bishop was a part of that as well, my good friend who’s on Judiciary. He backpedaled and he was like, “Well, nobody’s been able to adhere to that standard.”
Well, then why didn’t you say that last year, first of all? Second of all, it is the standard. It is the law. And you can adhere to that standard or you certainly can achieve the vast majority of it, as President [Donald] Trump proved by making sure we were using Migrant Protection Protocols, making sure that we were enforcing the laws of the border using Title 42, putting the bed capacity in place, and sending a message to the world that we’re not going to allow people just to flood in. We dropped the numbers down dramatically.
Unfortunately, this president reversed those things. The bill that we passed through the Judiciary Committee yesterday would take a giant step toward forcing the administration to do what they’re supposed to do and enforce the law.
Allen: Talk a little bit more about that. How are you-all pushing the administration to actually secure the border? How are you pressuring them?
Roy: Well, the first step is we Republicans need to agree—as I think yesterday was a giant step toward doing—on what border security looks like.
What have we done? We have successfully separated this notion of the components of “comprehensive immigration reform,” which has been failing for the better part of two decades-plus. We failed in ’06, ’07 and ’12, ’13, again in ’18, Republicans and Democrats.
My view is you have to do border security and immigration, all of that, sequentially. You have to start with border security.
What we passed yesterday is a comprehensive border security bill, it’s not a comprehensive immigration reform bill, and that border security bill would make us enforce the law.
It would say that, hey, we’re going to use Migrant Protection Protocols. We’re going to say that you have to be detained. We’re going to say that we’re now no longer going to split families up. We’re going to have families stay together, but we’re going to keep you and process and adjudicate your asylum claims.
We’re going to tighten asylum claims down to make sure that you have to claim them at a port of entry or that you can’t claim them just for being a part of some social group as opposed to a specific credible fear of persecution for your religious beliefs or political beliefs.
All of that will send a very loud signal that we’re serious about border security. And there are very specific provisions in there that would give the secretary Title 42-type authority without a pandemic and a mandate that you shall not release. Under no circumstances shall you release into the United States.
You’ll detain, you will use Migrant Protection Protocols, you’ll use safe third countries, or you’re going to take an asylum claim and say you’re going to wait in Mexico. That’s what you’re going to have to do.
Now, that’d be Step One. Step Two is to force the Senate to act. And if they won’t act, Step Three is to use the power of the purse to force the president to have to come to the table.
Allen: … Just given the situation at the border, you have called, along with several other GOP members, for Secretary Mayorkas’ salary to be defunded. You’ve also called for him to be impeached. Do you maintain that Secretary Mayorkas should be impeached?
Roy: Yeah, sure. I mean, for the last two years I’ve said that we ought to be bringing him before the Judiciary Committee and we ought to be bringing forth articles of impeachment. Why? For the very reason we already talked about. He lied to us.
We know that he knew full well that he didn’t have operational control when he said he did. He was lying about his own Border Patrol agents who have to work for him when he said they were whipping Haitian migrants at the Rio Grande river. When in fact he knew, he had a memo saying it wasn’t true. We saw with our own eyes it wasn’t true, all of America did, and yet he went to the podium anyway and said it was systemic racism.
So, with all due respect, he’s not been truthful. He has not carried out his constitutional duty to enforce the laws. And I believe that those are the kinds of things that rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.
It’s not just maladministration. You’re specifically refusing to enforce the laws of the United States. If you can’t impeach someone that went through Senate confirmation that’s in the administration, if we can’t impeach someone when they’re directly violating their oath to enforce the laws, I’m not sure what you can do it for. So we should do that.
On the other issue and using things like the Holman rule, otherwise strip a salary out and stuff, that’s fine. Yeah, I’d support that, but let’s not get distracted by shiny objects.
Even my own colleagues in my own party, they’re like, “Oh, I got this idea. That’ll show him.” That ain’t going to show him, I don’t think. I’ll do it. But you want to get serious about it, use the power of the purse to bring the president to his knees and sit at the table and say, “You’re going to do your job and you’re going to secure the border.” That’s what has to happen.
Allen: When these hearings take place, what often happens is you see from Democrats comments made about Republicans engaging in political grandstanding when comments are made about things like impeaching Mayorkas. What’s your response to that?
Roy: Well, I’d just like them to go explain to me how the 53 migrants who cooked in a tractor trailer in San Antonio last August think about that being grandstanding. Or the 856 bodies that have been found along the Rio Grande river in South Texas or along the border in Arizona. Is that grandstanding?
Is it grandstanding to talk about the thousands of little girls that are in the sex trafficking trade as we speak or little boys and girls being put into basically the equivalent of slavery and labor in the United States while we empower cartels and while China gets enriched running fentanyl into our communities with 72,000 dead Americans, including at least five or six in my own Hays County ISD who have died in the last six months?
If that’s grandstanding, to try to protect those individuals, protect migrants, protect Americans, stop cartels, and stop China, then accuse me of grandstanding all day long.
But I will stand up for them. I’ll do it in front of a camera. I’ll do it in front of a microphone because they need a voice. They deserve a voice.
And I can tell you, the ones who are grandstanding, it’s Democrats who pat themselves on the back in the false name of compassion about how great they are for brown people and migrants and all their little games they like to play to divide us by race, divide us by class.
American people are sick of that garbage. They want the border secure. They want us to have a great Christian heart, to be able to figure out how we’re going to take care of people who need it. But that doesn’t mean that 7.7 billion people can just waltz into the United States.
We’re a sovereign nation, should have a secure border. If a child’s at your doorstep, you take care of that child and then you figure out what to do next. But you don’t allow these folks who own the other side of the aisle predominantly, a few on our own side of the aisle, to be honest, who want to play the race card game and they want to play this whole divide us up, divvying us up by race—to quote Chief Justice John Roberts—that I think is killing our country.
Allen: There’s an issue that you just recently spoke out on, and that is a report that came out from The New York Times, that 85,000 migrant children have essentially been lost. The federal government doesn’t know where they are. They came across the border illegally. Now we can’t locate them. What is the solution to this problem?
Roy: Yeah, I mean, we talked about this and I brought it up in the Judiciary Committee yesterday. And look, I don’t like to play fast and loose with facts. I mean, I tried to make this clear yesterday that—not saying you are, but I’m just saying. Eighty-five thousand—it’s not as if they’ve probably been lost, but it is true that the bureaucracy of [the Department of Health and Human Services] has no idea where these 85,000 kids are.
I mean, call that lost, call that we don’t know where you are, but it just goes to show you what happens when the compassion of government and government bureaucracy is brought into play, what actually happens and what this means.
They were all the ones going around—kids in cages, right? The very “cages” that [former President] Barack Obama put in place, that we inherited, and that the Trump administration used to keep kids safe. I’ve been to those facilities, to separate kids from unknown adults.
Do you want a 7-year-old or 13-year-old in a room with no windows, no glass, with some dude that that child doesn’t know? That’s what these folks that are trying to play games with this stuff are allowing to occur.
Eighty-five thousand kids being misplaced tells you everything you need to know about this current administration and how reckless they are with the truth and the facts.
And what do you think is going to happen when you tell the world, “Hey, here’s how you can come to the United States. Just say the word ‘asylum’ and you get released. Just say you’re a kid and you’re an unaccompanied child. You get to come in”? Is that a good message to send to the world? So that a parent puts their child on a train and says, “Good luck, go to America”? That’s a bad way to do business and we shouldn’t do it.
Allen: Why are so many kids coming to the border unaccompanied? What’s going on?
Roy: Because we’re telling them that you get a “get out of jail free” card and get to come into the United States if you do it. So what we should do is what we do is have a legal path to come to the United States. If you’re going to claim asylum, you come to a port of entry or you go to your government or whatever and you say, “Hey, I’m being persecuted,” and you have a path to asylum. There are other mechanisms. If you’re a refugee, whether you’re from Ukraine or otherwise, there are refugee laws.
We should all have absolute compassion as a country to help refugees, people who need it, people being persecuted. We’ve always been a beacon of hope for people around the world and we should be, but we also have to be rational.
We also need to get back in the business of exporting the rule of law, exporting our strength, have a strong Western Hemisphere.
Today, I’m going to talk about China here at the Heritage event. Why are we letting China have a front seat at our backyard table right here, sitting here in South America? They’re coming right in, Central America. Let’s end that. Let’s export the rule of law. Let’s build a massive growing economy throughout the Western Hemisphere. We need a Monroe Doctrine for the 21st century. We need to be on offense.
Hope, whoever the next president is, be it a Republican, lord willing, in ’25 that we march forward beating China by going on offense, not going around going, “Oh my God, what are we going to do about China?” How about, just be America?
Allen: Speaking of China, I want to read something that you recently said. You said, “My colleagues on the other side of the aisle bury their head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge the crisis at the border, which is empowering cartels, which is empowering China, which is causing migrants to die, which is causing Americans to die.” Why do you say that the current crisis on our southern border is empowering China?
Roy: Because it is. I mean, the fact of the matter is we know that 90% of the precursors or the finished product fentanyl is coming from China. Yes, the cartels are actually increasingly making it there, using those precursors, but that’s being funneled through, which is giving a lot of money to cartels and empowering China. It’s empowering China both because they make money on it, but it’s also giving China a foothold in Mexico.
China has a foothold in our border cities and communities. We had Chinese foreign nationals that have been discovered coming across our border. What about the ones we haven’t discovered? What about the, I don’t even know what the number is anymore, the million and a half or so or more “gotaways” that we don’t even know who they are, where they come from? We know that some of them are Chinese nationals. We know that some of them are coming from terror states because we’ve caught some from terror states and we’ve caught Chinese nationals.
The fact is we’re giving China everything they need to be able to insert themselves into the Western Hemisphere. We see what’s happening down in South America where they’re now favoring China over Taiwan. Why? Because China’s buying them off. They’re coming in and giving them money. They’re coming in and giving them trade deals, and those countries are saying, “Well, I guess we’ll go with China.” Why? Because America’s sitting here asleep.
This is like the 1930s in the sense that America’s just kind of sitting around going, “Oh, we’re America.” Well, we’re going to lose the dollar to China cutting deals with Brazil if we don’t get on offense right now. Stop bowing down to the China—to the climate fetish industry here. Get American energy going, export liquified natural gas, stop buying Chinese solar panels and making ourselves weaker instead of having a strong national security. We can go on offense and beat China without even having to attack China. We should do that.
Allen: That’s significant, what you just said, that we are at risk of losing the dollar. How quickly could that happen?
Roy: You have to talk to people who are much smarter than I am about currency and banking and everything else. But let’s just be clear, if China and Brazil are talking about it, if India’s talking about it, there’s something there.
If we’ve got $32 trillion of debt, if we keep spending money we don’t have, if we’re willing to bail out a bank in Silicon Valley because some rich elitist up there and some tech companies who misused their dollars, then we want to go take care of them while we have inflationary pressures after dumping trillions of dollars in COVID and won’t even hold China accountable for what they did to create COVID and they cover up COVID, if we won’t fight all that stuff, how in the hell is anybody going to want to have the dollar as their reserve currency?
Because we’re a weak nation that refuses to stand up in defense of our values, go around the world talking about how great our principles are that have made this world great and have a strong military that is hardly ever used.
Why do we have a military for 20 years where we have an authorization of the use of military force in Iraq when Saddam Hussein’s been dead for like 18 years? Or 17 years, whatever it is. It’s insane. Our country has all of our principles backward, and it’s because of this current leadership.
But I also want to say one other thing. It’s Republicans who have forsaken core conservative principles. And we need to get back on that path, a limited government, a strong military sparingly used, strong sovereignty, but yes, with the doors open that are supposed to be open, but following the rule of law.
Restore the rule of law in this country; restore economic strength on the back of small businesses, not corporate cronyism; give health care back to patients and to doctors; and to end what we’re doing right now, which is empowering the wealthy, the rich elites. Because we’re forsaking the principles that made our country great and we should be exporting those to the world rather than doing that.
Allen: Congressman, one final question on the border and then I want to let you go. What is the next step as you and your colleagues move forward with trying to bring order, restore order to the southern border? What’s next?
Roy: We should pass the bill off the House floor that we just passed. We should send it to the Senate. We should tell [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer, “You need to pass this.” We should message it hard. We shouldn’t bat an eye. We should tell the president that he should enforce those things and he should encourage Democrats to pass the bill. When they don’t, we should beat the snot out of them over the next election cycle. The next president should run on the back of that bill and the policies invested in it, and we shouldn’t be funding a government that doesn’t embrace most or all of those policies.
I think that we should have a debt ceiling fight, yes. But as we head to the appropriation cycle heading into September, why am I going to go fund a Department of Homeland Security that won’t embrace the bill that we just passed? We should fight for it.
We should use the power of the purse that James Madison explained in Federalist 58 is the most powerful weapon you have in the people’s House to check an executive branch that’s out of control and tyrannical. That’s my paraphrase because I can’t remember his exact words because they’re better than mine. But that’s what we should do.
Allen: Congressman Chip Roy, thank you for your time. We truly appreciate it.
Roy: Thank you. I appreciate it.
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