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Republicans’ Headache: Cutting A Border Deal With A DHS Chief They Loathe

via ABC News
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Senate Republicans are collaborating with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to develop a bipartisan border security deal, posing a challenge for GOP negotiators who must convince colleagues and House Republicans who are seeking Mayorkas’s impeachment.

Mayorkas is focused on policy proposals and is engaging in talks to assess border changes without deciding White House backing.

Despite Republican skepticism and opposition, discussions with key senators continue, with Mayorkas’ involvement complicating the task of securing GOP support for any deal. (Trending: Trump Releases Must-See Christmas Message)

While some concede his relevance in negotiations, others criticize his performance and question his authority.

“I’m skeptical” of Mayorkas, said Sen. Chuck Grassley.

“Hearing for three years that the border’s secure when every day, you can see it’s not secure? He’s living in dreamland.”

“I don’t think Mayorkas gets it done. I mean, you’ve seen his performance on the border, it’s worse than abysmal,” Sen. John Hoeven said.

“We have him up for hearings. And he sits there and says the border’s secure. He’s not even dealing with reality.”

“Secretary Mayorkas doesn’t have time for partisan politics. He is focused on doing his job,” said DHS spokesperson Dan Watson.

“He will work with anyone in good faith to help find solutions for our broken immigration system and to provide critical funding and resources for the DHS workforce.”

Mayorkas’ engagement is seen as crucial by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, with Republicans arguing that Biden, not Mayorkas, will ultimately close any deal.

“We made sure Mayorkas was in the room. He’s very, very helpful. He knows the details,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

“He still has the president’s confidence, evidently, so it seems natural to me that he’d be at the table,” said Sen. Todd Young.

“He’s carrying out the direction from the White House. I believe if he had freer reign, he would take different approaches,” said Sen. Susan Collins.

“I hope these bipartisan discussions will give him the tools that he desperately needs.”

“No man has done more to take on … one of the largest policy and political topics in this country than Secretary Mayorkas,” said Jason Houser, former chief of staff at Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“The secretary has been out almost on an island.”

Mayorkas “would be forever tied to these policies that he had always previously marked as too extreme,” said a former Obama official.

Despite facing criticism from both sides, Mayorkas remains focused on seeking solutions for the broken immigration system and providing funding and resources for the DHS workforce.

“We fully endorse the need for policy changes, not in piecemeal form, but in a comprehensive form,” Mayorkas said.

“I’m told that he’s trying to help. He’s very knowledgeable. But he doesn’t have any authority,” said Sen. John Kennedy.

“We’re not going to reach any kind of agreement until the president tells us what, if anything, he’s willing to do to secure the border.”

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