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FACT SHEET: House Judiciary Republicans Push Yet Another Immigration Stunt With A Slate of MAGA Witnesses.

Jan 30, 2024

As MAGA Republicans on the House Homeland Security committee meet to mark up baseless and unconstitutional articles of impeachment against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas without any grounds for impeachment, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are planning another partisan stunt in support of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s lawless efforts to undermine our democracy and ignore a Supreme Court order. Instead of coming to the table with solutions to help fix our immigration system, Republicans have invited three MAGA witnesses, including a former state attorney general who attempted to declare a border “invasion” and mobilize the national guard, a lawyer with ties to white supremacist groups, and a MAGA Texas prosecutor who worked to overturn the 2020 election. Some House Republicans have even warned of “civil war” over the ruling.

This hearing is nothing new; it is merely the latest GOP distraction as they seek to defeat a bipartisan border security package. House Republicans have sabotaged deal after deal on the border and spent nearly two decades walking away from the issue, rejecting bipartisan proposals over and over again. They have made it clear that they are more interested in scoring points with their MAGA base than actually solving an issue.

House Republicans Are Undermining the Rule of Law and Embracing Violent Rhetoric. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled against Texas in a case determining that the Biden administration has ultimate authority over border security and immigration policy. In response, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that he intended to defy the Supreme Court ruling. Now, top House Republicans are supporting Abbott’s move to subvert the rule of law:

  • Judiciary Committee member Chip Roy (R-TX) said: “This opinion is unconscionable and Texas should ignore it on behalf of the [Border Patrol Union] agents who will be put in a worse position by the opinion and the Biden administration’s policies.” 
  • Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) has embraced violent civil war rhetoric: “My thoughts are that the feds are staging a civil war, and Texas should stand their ground.” 
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14) has described the situation in violent terms, telling a right-wing audience, “I’m extremely concerned about that Supreme Court ruling…we literally saw a ruling that’s going to put the federal government at war with the state of Texas.” She called the ruling, “the most radical, devastating thing that we have seen happen in a Supreme Court ruling,” and said, “I think Texas needs to stand their ground and we should join Texas in their fight against the federal government to defend their state, defend their border, defend their people.”
  • House Speaker MAGA Mike Johnson (R-LA) announced, “The next step: holding Secretary Mayorkas accountable.”


Mark Brnovich

Former Arizona Attorney General 

Urged On By Trump Administration Officials, Brnovich Attempted To Take Unilateral Action In Arizona By Declaring A Border “Invasion.” In 2022, Brnovich issued a legal opinion unilaterally declaring that Arizona was under “invasion,” and attempted to authorize Arizona to “defend itself” under governor’s supposed “authority as Commander-in-Chief.” Months before the memo was publicly released, however, senior Trump administration officials had pitched the idea to Arizona’s former Republican Governor, encouraging him to “activate and deploy all units” to “detain illegal immigrants.”

Brnovich Commissioned A MAGA 2020 Election Investigation, Sought Evidence From A Group Known For Spreading Misinformation, Then Concealed the Results When He Failed To Substantiate Election Fraud Claims. After the 2020 election, Brnovich launched an investigation into the 2020 election in Arizona, dedicating 60 staffers and over 10,000 hours to the probe. As part of the probe, his office sought evidence from a group known for spreading misinformation led by a MAGA conspiracy theorist. After the probe concluded, however, he found no evidence to support Trump’s baseless claims. Yet instead of releasing the full report, he ignored his own investigators and released a separate “interim report” with unproven allegations against Arizona’s most populous county.

Brnovich Supported An Extreme Legal Theory That Would Have Allowed State Legislatures To Overturn Election Results. In 2022, Brnovich joined a coalition of thirteen Republican attorneys general in an amicus brief supporting the radical “independent state legislature” doctrine pushed by North Carolina Republicans in Moore v. Harper, a case so extreme that it was rejected 6-3 by the conservative-majority Supreme Court. The brief questioned the authority of state courts to rule on election-related matters, falsely claiming that only state legislatures have the authority.

Christopher Hajec

Director of Litigation, Immigration Reform Law Institute 

Hajec Works For a Group with Ties To White Supremacists. Hajec serves as the director of litigation for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, which is the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an organization designated as an anti-immigrant hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC has reported that FAIR’s leaders “have historical ties to white supremacists and eugenicists and…have made numerous racist statements. Its advertisements have been rejected because of racist content.” 

Hajec Filed Over 100 Briefs Defending The Trump Administration’s Disastrous Border Policy. Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, Hajec filed over 100 briefs “in defense of the Trump administration’s immigration initiatives.” Trump’s border policy was marked by human rights abuses, waste, and mismanagement. In 2019, Customs and Border Protection declared a “humanitarian and national security border crisis,” and humanitarian organizations reported a sharp rise in human rights abuses during detention encounters as the administration mounted a failed response to the surge in border crossings. Just months after Donald Trump was sworn-in, his administration worked to institute a “zero tolerance” policy for international migrants which resulted in children being separated from families and treated as unaccompanied children. In 2019, a U.S. district court ruled that the Trump administration had violated a Supreme Court order requiring the border patrol to hold children in “facilities that are safe and sanitary,” and rapidly transfer unaccompanied children to ORR custody within 72 hours of detention. Inspectors and reporters found that Trump’s border patrol was neglecting detained children, holding them for days or even weeks on end as a result of HHS shelters reaching capacity limits. Trump’s attorneys requested that a circuit court overturn the Supreme Court order, which required the government to “provide detainees with hygiene items such as soap and toothbrushes in order to comply with the ‘safe and sanitary conditions’ requirement set forth in the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement.”

  • Amnesty International: Trump-Era “Industrial-Scale” Facilities For Unaccompanied Children Led To “Deplorable Outcomes.” In a 2019 report, Amnesty International concluded that Trump administration policies “led to deplorable outcomes violating the human rights of children, as well as adults, that were entirely avoidable, and a measure of political ill will toward the right to seek asylum, as enshrined in both US and international law.” A follow-up report described “industrial-scale” detainment facilities oriented towards “containment” instead of processing, concluding that they were not operated “in the best interests of the unaccompanied children housed there.

Hajec Is A Right-Wing Federalist Society Contributor. Hajec has appeared at numerous events related to immigration and border security organized by the right-wing Federalist Society. Prior to joining the Institute, he worked as an attorney for the Center for Individual Rights (CIR), a right-wing legal organization that worked to oppose key portions of the Voting Rights Act.

Brent Webster

First Assistant Attorney General of Texas

Webster Has Opposed Prior SCOTUS Rulings Affirming the Federal Government’s Authority Over Immigration Policy. Webster has long pushed against the federal government’s authority over immigration policy. In June 2023, he decried an 8-1 ruling by the Supreme Court affirming the Biden administration’s enforcement priorities, writing in a statement that he was “extremely disappointed” by the decision.

Webster Took Part in the Texas Lawsuit Seeking to Overturn the 2020 Election Results. After the 2020 election, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton spearheaded a lawsuit to overturn the results in four key states Trump lost. As Assistant Attorney General, Webster took part in the lawsuit, and played a key role in filing the case, which contained many false, debunked, and unsubstantiated claims about so-called voter fraud.

During Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Impeachment Trial, Webster Was Accused of Discrimination and Harassment. In fall 2023, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was impeached by the GOP-run state legislature, during which time Webster briefly took charge as acting state attorney general. One of Paxton’s impeachment whistleblowers accused Webster of driving female employees away from the agency’s executive tier. The whistleblower told impeachment investigators, “They’re so misogynistic it’s incredible how blatant they are about it and how openly sexual they are in talking around their female employees.” Independent journalists discovered that five complaints had been filed against Webster from October 2020, all filed by staffers who reported Paxton to the FBI for corruption.