Appearing with Republicans in El Paso, Texas, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday called on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign over failure to secure the southern border.

If Mayorkas does not resign, McCarthy warned, House Republicans will investigate him and his department to determine whether to launch impeachment proceedings.

Specifically, McCarthy pointed to recent suicides by Border Patrol agents; the Biden administration’s decision to end the «Remain in Mexico» policy, a Trump-era program designed to restrict immigration at the southern border; and Biden’s efforts to end Title 42, a Trump-era Covid policy that allowed authorities to limit the border crossing of asylum seekers.

“Your actions have produced the largest wave of illegal immigration in recorded history. Our country may never recover from Secretary Mayorkas’ dereliction of duty,” McCarthy said, flanked by other House Republicans. “That is why today I ask the Secretary to resign. He cannot and should not remain in that position.

“If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign,” McCarthy continued, “House Republicans will investigate every order, every action and every failure [and] determine if we can begin the impeachment inquiry.»

McCarthy’s comments come as he has been fighting to rally the support of the 218 Republicans he needs to win the House vote for president on Jan. 3.

Many conservatives who withhold their support insist that House Republicans impeach Mayorkas when he takes office next year. McCarthy’s comments on Tuesday were seen as part of his efforts to shore up support among some of those die-hard conservatives.

A White House spokesman said in a tweet that McCarthy had traveled to the border and called for Mayorkas’ resignation in April, to no avail.

«McCarthy went to the border, pulled a hopeless political stunt and threatened to impeach Secretary Mayorkas. In April,» White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement. cheep.

«It’s literally dusting off old news, rather than learning lessons from House Rs’ historic midterm underperformance.»

victoria ebner contributed.