House Republicans Unveil Impeachment Articles in Bid to Remove Homeland Security’s Mayorkas Over Border Issues



AP News

House Republicans have taken a decisive step in their bid to oust Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, releasing two articles of impeachment on Sunday. Citing what they perceive as Mayorkas’s failure to effectively manage the U.S.-Mexico border, Republicans argue that the secretary is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors” constituting a “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” on immigration, along with a “breach of the public trust.” However, Democrats and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) dismissed the move as a politically motivated maneuver lacking constitutional merit.

The impeachment resolution contends that Mayorkas “willfully and systemically refused to comply with the immigration laws, failed to control the border to the detriment of national security, compromised public safety, and violated the rule of law and separation of powers in the Constitution, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”

House Republicans have been advocating for Mayorkas’s impeachment since gaining control of the House in 2023. This latest move comes amid their parallel efforts to impeach Democratic President Joe Biden, specifically regarding his son Hunter’s business dealings, which have faced challenges in advance.

The impeachment drive against Mayorkas gained momentum following a series of hearings in recent weeks, coinciding with heightened attention on border security and immigration issues in the 2024 campaign. Former President Donald Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has promised the “largest deportation operation” in U.S. history if he returns to the White House.

Mayorkas, currently engaged in negotiations with senators on bipartisan border policy, faces impeachment at a critical juncture. The House Homeland Security Committee, controlled by Republicans, is set to vote on the articles of impeachment, with Speaker Mike Johnson aiming for a swift House vote afterward.

While passage requires only a House majority, the Senate would hold a trial, and a two-thirds vote is necessary for conviction, an outcome deemed unlikely in the Democratic-run Senate.

Democrats argue that Republicans are engaging in a sham impeachment process lacking constitutional grounds. They accuse Republicans of contributing to border challenges by attacking Mayorkas without providing the necessary tools for the DHS to manage the situation.

The impeachment articles follow a yearlong examination by Republicans of Mayorkas’s handling of the border, with a focus on policies they believe either removed effective Trump-era measures or introduced policies encouraging illegal migration. Republicans highlight growing numbers of migrants overwhelming border authorities, emphasizing a perceived crisis of the administration’s making.

Democrats counter that policy differences are not grounds for impeachment and argue that Mayorkas is managing border security amid a global mass migration driven by various factors. They emphasize the outdated and underfunded nature of the immigration system and question the motivations behind the impeachment proceedings.

The DHS, in response, cites efforts to remove a significant number of individuals, particularly over the past six months, and ongoing initiatives to combat fentanyl smuggling as evidence of the department’s commitment to border duties. They underscore the challenges of achieving 100% detention and argue that focusing on security threats remains a priority.

The last Cabinet secretary to be impeached was William Belknap in 1876, the war secretary under President Ulysses Grant, over corruption issues. However, Belknap was acquitted after a Senate trial failed to secure the necessary two-thirds majority for conviction.

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