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Committee approves articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, prepares for floor vote

House Republicans voted to move forward with the impeachment process against the DHS secretary due to his inaction on the immigration crisis.

US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during a US Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the President's supplemental request for the Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on November 8, 2023. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / AFP)

(Stefani Reynolds / AFP)

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Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will face impeachment on the House floor. Following a vote in the House Homeland Security Committee, where Mayorkas was accused of demonstrating a "willful and systematic refusal to comply with the law" and lying to Congress, the impeachment process will advance to a vote in the full House.

Representatives on Tuesday finally approved impeachment charges against Alejandro Mayorkas, who they accuse of having endangered the security of the country by failing to act in the face of a massive influx of undocumented immigrants. The charges were approved with 18 votes in favor, all by Republicans, and 14 against, all Democrats, in the move that will trigger a vote in the full House.

This vote is expected to take place next week. Although there is a possibility that Republicans will get the necessary votes in the House (they can only lose two votes to maintain a majority), Mayorkas will almost surely be acquitted in the Senate, where Democrats have a majority and will not approve the impeachment.

As the number of migrants rises to record levels and the situation becomes increasingly tense at the southern border, Republicans have been advancing their investigations against the secretary. Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said, "Americans—especially those in Texas—are tired of Sec. Mayorkas' dereliction of duty and abdication of federal responsibility. oday, the Homeland Security Committee is sending a message to the Biden admin. on their behalf: It's time for Mayorkas to be impeached."

The immigration issue has become one of the main concerns of the Republican base. Former President Donald Trump has also responded to the clamor of voters, turning the border issue into one of the main pillars of his campaign. In fact, the possibility of impeaching Mayorkas had been on the table on several occasions, but it did not manage to advance until now when, given the severity of the situation on the border, even moderate Republicans in the House seem willing to support the impeachment of the secretary. This is the case of Rep. Nick LaLota, who has said that “He’s been derelict in his duty. He’s broken the public trust. He’s violated the laws of this Congress. … He’s gotta go."

Secretary Mayorkas has been working in recent weeks with senators from both parties on a deal that would seek to stop the influx of migrants. However, different Republicans have classified the initiative as a waste of time. Republicans have asked the government for solutions to the situation on the border in exchange for approval of the aid package for Ukraine and Israel requested by President Biden, but the deal that Secretary Mayorkas is working on does not seem to convince Republicans even in the Senate, nor in the House.

Most Republicans, even those who for months had been reluctant to support impeachment, agree that President Biden has the power necessary to stop the immigration crisis, noting that it was Biden's decision to reverse several Trump administration policies that triggered the disaster now seen on the southern border. They argue that allocating more resources to the border will not solve the problem, but will simply become money used to process more migrants.

Both the White House and Democrats say that Republicans’ accusations against Mayorkas do not meet the “high crimes and misdemeanors” threshold necessary for impeachment. Although all Republicans strongly agree that the border situation is out of control and must be urgently addressed, a few agree with Democrats that Secretary Mayorkas' poor performance does not merit impeachment.

Jonathan Turley, a law professor and frequent analyst on Fox News, said, “The fact is, impeachment is not for being a bad cabinet member or even a bad person.” He continued: "It's a very narrow standard," referring to the requirements for impeachment.