U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw physically applauded calls by a former top Trump administration official Thursday night to impeach President Joe Biden if Republicans regain the majority in November and was even more committed to impeaching Biden’s Homeland Security secretary.
The Houston Republican said at a meeting in Montgomery County that Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has deliberately violated the law by not enforcing immigration laws, resulting in a historic surge in border crossings.
But Crenshaw was quick to add that politically it’s probably not a good idea because Vice President Kamala Harris would then become president.
While fringes of the Republican Party have been calling for Biden’s impeachment since his first day in office, Crenshaw’s comments show that there is growing acceptance of the idea with other Republicans, even if political hurdles remain.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., three times has filed legislation to impeach Biden, including on the day after he took office. In September, Rep. Randy Weber, R-Friendswood, filed his own impeachment legislation, and later he and Rep. Brian Babin, R-Woodville, signed onto another bill to impeach Biden.
With Democrats in control of the U.S. House, none of those bills will see the light of day. But if Republicans regain the majority in November, it could open the door to more impeachment bill filings and hearings.
The Biden administration has said it inherited a broken immigration system from the Trump era and that it is expanding border resources to handle asylum-seekers.
In April, during an interview on Fox News Sunday, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California didn’t sound like he was itching to call for impeachment but blamed Democrats for setting the stage.
“Look, the one thing we learned that the Democrats did, is they used impeachment for political reason,” McCarthy said. “We believe in the rule of law. We’re not going to pick and choose just because somebody has power.”
Polling shows why Republicans might be talking about it more. Nearly 70 percent of Republican voters in a University of Massachusetts Amherst poll released last month said the House should impeach Biden if Republicans regain the majority in the November midterm elections.
Crenshaw’s comments about impeaching Mayorkas came during a nearly two-hour meeting on border security issues he organized in New Caney that included Tom Homan, the former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under former President Donald Trump, who wholeheartedly called for impeaching Biden.
“We had the most secure border ever in my career and this president — President Biden — unsecured it on purpose, which I think are grounds for impeachment from day one,” Homan said as Crenshaw and a crowd of more than 150 people clapped.
Homan, who has worked in border enforcement since the 1980s, and other speakers blasted the Biden administration for ending construction of the border wall, for stopping the “Remain in Mexico” policy that had asylum-seekers camped in Mexico while their status was being considered, and for trying to lift Title 42, the pandemic-based health policy that has blocked asylum-seekers from coming into the United States.
Crenshaw said that since Biden took office his border policies have resulted in the Border Patrol having more than 2.7 million encounters with people crossing — a dramatic increase from Trump’s four years in office.
At a fiery hearing before Congress in April, Mayorkas defended the Biden administration by saying it was handed a “broken and dismantled system that is already under strain.”
Mayorkas said that to deal with the surge of migrants, officials were speeding up the processing of new arrivals and evaluating asylum requests more quickly. In addition, he said, they are increasing personnel on the border.
Crenshaw is seeking a third term representing the 2nd Congressional District in November. The newly redrawn district runs from Spring to Humble and stretches into Montgomery County to pick up areas such as The Woodlands and New Caney that had previously been represented by retiring Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands. Democrat Robin Fulford, of The Woodlands, is Crenshaw’s opponent in November.