House APPROVES articles of impeachment against Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over claims he broke law by failing to detain migrants before deciding whether to grant them asylum
House Republicans voted along party lines after midnight Wednesday to move toward the impeachment of the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for a ‘willful and systematic’ refusal to enforce immigration laws.
The Homeland Security Committee debated all day Tuesday and late into the night to recommend two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas to the full House as border security become a top 2024 election issue.
It’s a rare charge against a cabinet official not seen in nearly 150 years that Republicans are making GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump‘s hard-line deportation approach to immigration their own.
All committee Republicans voted in favor, while the Democrats united against it.
“We cannot allow this man to remain in office any longer,” said Chairman Mark Green.
House Republicans voted along party lines after midnight Wednesday to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for a “willful and systematic” refusal to enforce immigration laws.
All committee Republicans voted in favor, while Democrats united against it
The articles of impeachment allege that Mayorkas ‘refuses to comply with federal immigration laws’ amid a record surge of migrants and that he ‘violated the public trust’ in his claims to Congress that the US-Mexico border is secure .
The full House could vote on Mayorkas’ impeachment as soon as next week. If approved, the charges would go to the Senate for a hearing, although senators could first convene a special committee for consideration.
With an unusual personal appeal, Mayorkas – which is deep inside Senate speaking on a border security package — wrote in a letter to the committee that it should work with the Biden administration to update the nation’s “broken and outdated” immigration laws for the 21st century, an era of record global migration .
“We need a legislative solution and only Congress can provide it,” Mayorkas wrote in the scathing letter to the panel’s chairman.
Rarely has a cabinet member faced prosecution for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and Democrats on the panel dismissed the proceedings as a gimmick and a scam that could set a chilling precedent for other government officials caught up in policy disputes by lawmakers who disagree with the president’s approach.
“This is a terrible day for the committee, the United States, the Constitution and our great country,” said Rep. said Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the committee’s ranking Democrat.
Referring to Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ campaign slogan, Thompson said the ‘MAGA-led prosecution of Secretary Mayorkas is a baseless sham.’
The House’s proceedings against Mayorkas have created a strange split screen Capitol Hill as the Senate deliberately works with the secretary on a bipartisan border security package it is now on life support.
The Homeland Security Committee – including chairman Mark Green (pictured right) and Michael McCaul (pictured left) debated all day Tuesday and well into the night to recommend two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas
House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York called the proceedings a “political stunt” staged by Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (pictured left) was drawn up.
The package negotiated by the senators with Mayorkas could emerge as the most consequential bipartisan immigration proposal in a decade. Or it could collapse into political failure as Republicans, and some Democrats, run away from the effort.
Trump has tried to fight the deal on the campaign trail and in private conversations. “I’d rather have no bill than a bad bill,” Trump said in Las Vegas over the weekend.
President Joe Biden, in his own campaign remarks in South Carolinasaid if Congress sends him a bill with emergency authority, he will “close the border now” to get migration under control.
‘I have done all i can do,’ Biden told reporters Tuesday before leaving for a campaign-related trip to Florida. ‘Give me the power’ through legislation, which he says is something he has asked for ‘from the day I came into office’.
The Republicans are focused on the secretary’s handling of the southern border, which has experienced an increasing number of migrants over the past year, many have sought asylum in the US, at a time when drug cartels use the border with Mexico to traffic people and ship deadly fentanyl into the states.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Trump ally often mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick, called it an “invasion.”
Republicans argue that the Biden administration and Mayorkas either got rid of policies in place under Trump that controlled migration or instituted their own policies that encouraged migrants from around the world to come to the US illegally via the southern border.
House Speaker Mike Johnson said Biden and Mayorkas had “created a catastrophe” at the border, and he upcoming Senate package. The GOP leader said the president is now trying to shift the blame back onto Congress for failing to update immigration laws.
Democrat Robert Garcia of California uses graphic as Republicans on House Homeland Security Committee move to impeach Secretary Mayorkas
Chairman Mark Green leads a full committee comment to sec. Mayorkas
The Republicans also accused Mayorkas of lying to Congress, referring to comments about the border being secure or about checking Afghans flown to the US after military withdrawal from their country.
‘It is high time’ for impeachment, said Rep. Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said what Mayorkas called the “architect” of the border problems. “He’s got what’s coming to him.”
The impeachment hearings against Mayorkas continued in January the Republicans’ separate impeachment inquiry into Biden about the business dealings about his son Hunter Biden dragged.
Democrats argue that Mayorkas is acting within his legal authority at the department and that the criticism against him does not rise to the level of impeachment.
The Democratic leader of the House, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, called the proceedings a “political stunt” by Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Trump ally, was drafted, pushing the resolution forward.
During the hearing, Rep. Robert Garcia pointed to Trump’s comments echoing Adolf Hitler that immigrants were ‘poisoning the blood’ of the US and to his proposals to militarize the border as extreme, arguing that the impeachment proceedings were ‘all about trying to get Donald. Trump re-elected.’
Debate dragged into the night as Democrats tried and failed to amend the resolution.
Mayorkas never testified on his own behalf during the rushed impeachment proceedings – he and the committee could not agree on a date – but in his letter he drew on his own background as a child brought to the US by his parents who fled Cuba and spent his career prosecuting criminals.
Mayorkas lashed out at House Republicans who tried to impeach him, saying he was not swayed by “politically motivated accusations and personal attacks you made against me.”
“This is all about getting Donald Trump re-elected,” Garcia asserted, as House-Senate Republicans shunned bipartisan immigration negotiations in favor of continuing prosecutions
“Your false accusations do not bother me or distract me” from public service, he wrote.
Green, the Republican committee chairman, dismissed Mayorkas’ letter as an “11th-hour response” to the committee that was “inadequate and unbecoming of a cabinet secretary.”
It is unclear whether Republicans will have the support from within their ranks proceed with the impeachment vote in the full Houseespecially with their slim majority and with Democrats expected to vote against it.
Last year, eight House Republicans voted to kill the impeachment resolution proposed by Greene, although many have since signaled they are open to it. The committee approved a revised version.
If the House does agree Mayorkas to accuse, the charges would next go to the Senate. In 1876, the House impeached Secretary of Defense William Belknap over kickbacks in government contracts, but the Senate acquitted him in a trial.