Gov. Greg Abbott laid into U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas during an appearance this week on Fox 4.

Abbott specifically took issue with Mayorkas’ recent comments criticizing Texas legislation that makes it a state crime to enter Texas illegally.

The Texas law, Senate Bill 4 of the Texas Legislature’s fourth special session, is currently on hold while the Biden administration’s legal challenge plays out in the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“It is our strongly held view that [SB 4] … is unconstitutional, and it is our hope and confidence that the courts will strike it down with finality,” Mayorkas said during a press conference late last month alongside Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo.

Abbott shot back on Monday:

“So, you know, what Mayorkas has said is nothing [but] a bunch of lies,” Abbott said. “He proved that. In fact, he’s been impeached, in part, because he lied to Congress by telling Congress and America that the border was secure. The Biden administration has not secured the border.”

Abbott defended SB 4, arguing that the law merely allows Texas to “assert the powers that Congress has given to the federal government.”

Let me be clear about this, Congress has passed three laws, not one that requires the president to … deter anybody from entering the country illegally, then to detain anybody who does enter illegally, and to build border barriers.

Mayorkas has faced considerable ire from Republican lawmakers for his performance on the border and perceived deception during congressional hearings.

Since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has recorded more than 5.4 million illegal border crossers and at least 1.5 million “got-aways”—those detected but not apprehended.

Despite this, Mayorkas insisted during a Tuesday hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security that the border is “as secure as it can be.”

Articles of impeachment were first filed against Mayorkas by U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, (R-GA) in November. Lawmakers have tried twice to impeach him since, with the latest effort succeeding by one vote.

U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) sent the successful impeachment result to the Senate on Tuesday afternoon after temporarily delaying the action.

Johnson called U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) “the only impediment to delivering accountability for the American people.”

“Pursuant to the Constitution, the House demands a trial,” Johnson added.

Luca Cacciatore

Luca H. Cacciatore is a journalist for Texas Scorecard. He is an American Moment inaugural fellow and former welder.