On Tuesday, in the House, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas narrowly avoided impeachment with the assistance of a few Republicans who opposed the GOP-led attempt.
The House of Representatives voted against impeaching Mayorkas by a narrow margin of 216 to 214 due to his management of the U.S.-Mexico border. Four Republicans joined the Democratic members in their decision.
Some Republicans who voted against the impeachment resolution argued that Mayorkas’ actions were not serious enough to warrant impeachment and expressed concern about the impact the vote would have on future cases.
The decision was made to impeach Mayorkas without receiving testimony from him, due to a disagreement over his availability for a hearing.
The allegations state that the head of immigration for President Biden has intentionally and consistently failed to follow the law and has broken the public’s trust with regards to the administration’s management of the migrant situation at the border.
The initial charge of impeachment against Mayorkas is for not upholding immigration laws and allowing migrants to enter the U.S. instead of detaining them. The second charge claims that he provided false information to lawmakers regarding the security of the southern border, despite previously stating that his department had full control over it. Additionally, he is accused of impeding congressional oversight of his department.
The executive branch has not been provided with the necessary resources and personnel by Congress to detain all migrants in accordance with federal immigration law, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The department also refuted accusations that Mayorkas misled lawmakers, citing their use of “operational control” as an internal measure.
In a statement, GOP Representative Mark Green from Tennessee, who serves as the committee’s chair, expressed the need for impeachment due to Mayorkas’ actions resulting in an unprecedented crisis, effectively making every state a border state.
On Monday, the Biden administration released a statement stating that the action taken is considered as political retaliation, which is both unprecedented and unconstitutional. This action will not address the challenges our nation is currently facing in securing the border.
The road to the Mayorkas impeachment vote
Since Republicans gained control of the House in 2023, Mayorkas has faced potential impeachment due to his management of the border.
Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia
Proposed a motion to impeach
In early November, a resolution was brought against Mayorkas, accusing him of breaking his promise to uphold the Constitution by permitting an “invasion” of undocumented immigrants. The House referred the resolution to the Homeland Security Committee, which was already conducting an investigation into Mayorkas.
Greene, outraged by the move, tried to force a vote on a second resolution targeting Mayorkas, but
Following reassurances from leaders in the House, the previous attempt will continue to move forward at the committee level.
During that period, numerous House Republicans voiced apprehensions regarding the impeachment of Mayorkas, contending that his actions did not rise to the level of impeachable offenses.
Representative Bennie Thompson, the leading Democrat on the Committee of Homeland Security in Mississippi, stated on January 29th that the matter should have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Thompson noted that it marks the first instance of impeachment being considered by a committee other than the Judiciary Committee.
Thompson expressed that it was out of the ordinary and indicated that a agreement had been reached.
The leader of the committee, Green, argued that the Democrats chose to transfer it to the Homeland Security group.
decision to increase the budget for the project by $500
The committee has declared that they will be raising the project’s budget by $500.8th consecutive
At the beginning of January, marking its eighth consecutive occurrence.
The second and last hearing.
In eight days, legislators listened to testimony from mothers who have lost loved ones to violent crimes and fentanyl overdoses, as well as three state attorneys general who are suing Mayorkas. Two legal experts also stated that there is no constitutional grounds for impeaching Mayorkas.
On Jan. 30, the committee
During a vote on party lines, Republicans criticized Mayorkas for not detaining migrants and holding him responsible for fentanyl-related deaths, while Democrats deemed the accusations unfounded during a long markup session.
A collaboration between a group of senators from both parties and the Biden administration has been formed to address the high numbers of unauthorized border crossings in recent times.
The House Republicans argue that they approved a legislation called H.R. 2 in the previous year with no support from the Democrats, but it was unsuccessful in the Senate.
In a letter addressed to the committee prior to last week’s vote on the bill’s advancement to the House floor, Mayorkas refuted criticisms from the Republican party.
“I want to reassure you that these baseless allegations do not affect me and do not distract me from my commitment to law enforcement and public service, to which I have dedicated the majority of my career and continue to prioritize,” stated Mayorkas. He also emphasized the department’s actions to enhance deportation of migrants and combat trafficking networks.
“I will leave the discussion of whether your current efforts are constitutional to the numerous respected scholars and experts from various political backgrounds who have already expressed their opinion that it goes against the law,” he stated.
Ellis Kim was a contributor to this report.