A Republican lawmaker tripped himself up during a hearing with Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday.
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) challenged Mayorkas to explain statistics showing deportations for violent criminals had gone down compared to the final year of the Trump administration, and the secretary explained his claim that deportations had actually gone up under President Joe Biden.
"Congressman, allow me to share some facts with you," Mayorkas said. "12,025 individuals convicted of aggravated felonies were removed since the year 2021."
The California Republican interrupted and claimed that number was lower than 2020 or 2018, but Mayorkas disagreed.
"Actually, that's wrong," Mayorkas said. "12,025 individuals convicted of aggravated felonies. Nearly double the 6,815 in fiscal year 2020."
At this point, McClintock appeared to be confused and asked what Mayorkas meant by the term aggravated felony.
"That's a definition," Mayorkas said.
But the congressman wasn't finished.
"I call homicide an aggravated felony," McClintock said. "Your detainers are down 42 percent, I believe, 43 percent, I should say. Weapons offenses down 52 percent. You are defining terms that don't actually exist, aggravated felony."
Mayorkas pointed out that McClintock was wrong, and aggravated felonies were determined by Congress and codified into law.
"Congressman, the term aggravated felony is defined in statute," Mayorkas said. "It is a United States law. The definition of an aggravated felon is a matter of statutory law."
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