EXCLUSIVE – Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas says that the new GOP majority in the House of Representatives should impeach Alejandro Mayorkas, President Joe Biden’s Homeland Security secretary, over the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The facts are that Secretary Mayorkas has repeatedly told the public that the border is secure and that the border is not open,” Abbott said in a national exclusive interview with Fox News Digital ahead of his inauguration Tuesday for a third four-year term steering the Lone Star State.
“He testified under oath to those two statements in front of the United States Congress, and despite what he is saying, the reality is under Secretary Mayorkas we have the largest number of people coming across the border illegally than ever in the history of the United States of America,” the governor said.
And Abbott argued that Mayorkas “should be prosecuted for impeachment for lying to Congress and lying to Americans or because he’s incompetent at doing his job.”
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The governor was interviewed after Republican Rep. Pat Fallon of Texas last week filed articles of impeachment against Mayorkas.
The current crisis at the nation’s southern border started building during the first couple of months of the Biden presidency, nearly two years ago, and Abbott has long been critical of the president’s handling of the issue.
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As Biden earlier this month made his first visit to the border as president, Abbott was waiting for him on the tarmac at the airport in El Paso, Texas. The governor handed the president a letter in which he charged, “Your visit to our southern border with Mexico today is $20 billion too little and two years too late.”
Abbott, who also argued in his letter that the “chaos” at the border was the president’s fault for failing to enforce federal immigration laws, has spent more than $4 billion to secure Texas’ 1,254 miles of border with Mexico.
The governor told Fox News that in his inaugural address, he’ll “point out that the reason why Texas is coming out of pocket $4 billion to secure the border is because Joe Biden is missing in action as it concerns border security. I will outline all of the strategies that we have deployed, which are unprecedented to secure the border, and tell the public that we will once again be funding border security for the next two years.”
But the Biden administration and other Democrats have heavily criticized Abbott over the past year for repeatedly sending buses of migrants from Texas to Democratic cities in the northeastern part of the nation, including more than 100 migrants dropped off in Washington, D.C., on a frigid Christmas Eve.
Border security isn’t the only topic on Abbott’s mind as he gives his inaugural address. So are the Texas economy, the state’s $32 billion budget surplus, and property tax cuts.
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“Texas is the No. 1 economy in the United States of America, through all these different types of metrics. That No. 1 economy has led Texas to have the largest budget surplus of any state and the largest surplus in the history of the state of Texas,” Abbott said.
And the governor noted that “we recognize that money does not belong to the state, that money belongs to taxpayers. And so, we will provide a record property tax cut for the taxpayers of Texas.”
The conservative governor explained that “because we don’t have an income tax in the state of Texas, one way revenue is obtained is through property, and property taxes are burdening our taxpayers in the state of Texas, and the best way we can help our taxpayers in our state is to cut those property taxes.”
Abbott topped Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke – a former congressman who unsuccessfully ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination – by 11 points in November, his third straight double-digit gubernatorial victory in the reliably red state.
Thanks to his actions on immigration, abortion and a host of other issues, he’s become very visible and popular with conservatives across the country.
“I have championed conservative causes because I believe that’s the right direction both for Texas as well as the United States,” Abbott said when asked about the possibility of seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.
But he emphasized that “my primary focus right now is to maintain those conservative principles and policies for the state of Texas and do my part to expand them across the country. But for the next six months, I’ve got to get these policies passed for the state of Texas to ensure that we put our state on a pathway for not just the next four years but for [the] next 40 years. “
Asked by Fox News if he’s not ruling out a potential White House run, Abbott said, “I think a more accurate way to say it is it’s not something I’m ruling in right now. I’m focused on Texas, period.”