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Experts and Advocates Condemn Use of Deadly White Nationalist and Antisemitic Replacement Theory Rhetoric in Effort to Impeach DHS Secretary Mayorkas

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Washington, DC –  Last Thursday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a privileged resolution to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas relying on language associated with the great replacement conspiracy theory. In her remarks on the House floor for the introduction of this resolution, Rep. Greene frequently used dangerous invasion rhetoric. Her resolution makes the same “invasion” conspiracy claim. It is one thing to have policy disagreements with Secretary Mayorkas, but the continued use of deadly white nationalist and antisemitic rhetoric should not be tolerated in Congress. 

Again and again, our country has experienced hate violence inspired by this conspiracy theory-driven rhetoric. We know this because racist mass murderers tell us this in their screeds. Driven by fear-mongering about “replacement” and “invasion,” terrorists targeted the Latino community in El Paso, Texas, Black Americans in Buffalo, New York, and Jews in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in Poway, California, among other communities.

The rhetoric from political leaders can have deadly downstream consequences.  When asked in July 2023,  Secretary Mayorkas himself confirmed in testimony before Congress that when Members of Congress use great replacement conspiracy theory language, like describing migrants as an “invasion,” it “fuels the threat landscape we encounter.” Now, that same rhetoric is being used to threaten his position in the federal government. 

Rep. Greene is not alone in employing great replacement conspiracy theory rhetoric in calls for Secretary Mayorkas’ impeachment, at least 17 other Members of Congress have previously engaged in such rhetoric.  

Below, experts and advocates react to Members’ continued use of great replacement conspiracy theory rhetoric to impeach Secretary Mayorkas: 

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice: “This latest move in the year-long political impeachment sham from House Republicans towards DHS Secretary Mayorkas actively fuels the urgent threat of domestic terrorism by embracing great replacement theory rhetoric. Rep. Greene’s impeachment articles are a dangerous and racist political stunt and should be voted down by all of her colleagues in the House, regardless of their opinions on the policy actions of the Biden administration. To vote and entertain this political stunt would only serve to normalize further a white nationalist conspiracy theory that has already inspired multiple domestic terrorists.” 

According to Matt Nelson of Presente Action, “We value robust, honest political debate, not white supremacist rhetoric that leads to violence against migrant and Latine communities. Representative Greene’s continued xenophobic discourse as she attempts to push the impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas is dangerous and unacceptable. We will continue to hold Secretary Mayorkas to a high standard of leadership, which includes implementing policies that truly protect and improve the lives of migrant and border communities.”

According to Marisa Limón Garza, Executive Director of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, in El Paso, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and New Mexico, “We have had real policy and practical disagreements with Secretary Mayorkas as well as robust dialogue informed by the lived experiences of our immigrant neighbors in our borderland community.  None of those align with, much less justify, the dangerous white supremacist rhetoric of invasion that Rep. Taylor Greene uses as a basis for impeachment.  Words like “invasion” legitimize the violence and hate that inspired the El Paso Walmart shooting in 2019. Real solutions at the border will never be rooted in the hatred and fear she espouses. Instead, they will be shaped by real American values.”

According to Lindsay Schubiner, Director of Programs, Western States Center, “We’ve seen time and time again elected officials weaponizing dangerous conspiracy theories like the Great Replacement Theory in order to score political points with extremist factions. When this fear-mongering feeds the conspiratorial narratives of ‘replacement’ and ‘invasion,’ it’s not just rhetoric—it’s a dangerous weapon that has led to countless, tragic consequences. The attempt to impeach Secretary Mayorkas based on such rhetoric crystalizes the fact that this is an effort rooted in white nationalism and antisemitism.”

According to Wendy Via, co-founder, Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, “This is yet another example of far-right politicians using language associated with the racist, anti-immigrant, and terrorism-inspiring  “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory for their own gain. We expect our political leaders to disagree, but this dehumanizing rhetoric is dangerous and has led to horrific extremist violence and inhumane policies time and time again. Marjorie Taylor Greene and others who invoke this hatred in the name of politics must stop.”