Republicans unveil impeachment charges against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro


House Republicans have unveiled two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as they vowed to swiftly push forward to oust the Cabinet member over his failure to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Mayorkas has been accused of ‘willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law’ as hundreds of migrants continue to flood into the US every day. New videos show dozens of migrants running across the border into the country amid record counts of monthly migrant encounters. 

Democrats and the agency slammed the impeachment push as a politically motivated stunt lacking the constitutional basis to remove him from office.

Republicans contend Mayorkas is guilty of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ that amount to a ‘refusal to comply with the law’ on immigration and a ‘breach of the public trust.’ 

Impeachment, they say, is ‘Congress‘s only viable option.’

House Republicans on Sunday released two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Democrats and the agency slammed the move as a politically motivated stunt lacking the constitutional basis to remove him from office

House Republicans on Sunday released two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Democrats and the agency slammed the move as a politically motivated stunt lacking the constitutional basis to remove him from office 

Alejandro Mayorkas, United States Secretary of Homeland Security, shakes hands along a section of the border wall on May 17, 2022, in La Joya, Texas

Alejandro Mayorkas, United States Secretary of Homeland Security, shakes hands along a section of the border wall on May 17, 2022, in La Joya, Texas

The impeachment resolution stated: ‘Alejandro N. 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.’ 

Since taking control of the House in 2023, Republicans have pushed to impeach Mayorkas. 

Sunday´s announcement comes as their other impeachment drive – to impeach Democratic President Joe Biden in relation to his son Hunter’s business dealings – has struggled to advance.

But Republicans have moved with rapid speed against Mayorkas after a series of hearings in recent weeks. 

It all comes at a time when border security and immigration are key issues in the 2024 campaign and as Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, is promising to launch the ‘largest deportation operation’ in U.S. history if he returns to the White House.

The GOP push also comes at a curious time for Mayorkas.

Even as the House is taking steps to try remove him from office, Mayorkas has been engaged in arduous negotiations with senators seeking to reach a bipartisan deal on border policy. He has won praise from senators for his engagement in the process.

As seen from an aerial view immigrants climb through razor wire after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico on December 18 in Eagle Pass, Texas

As seen from an aerial view immigrants climb through razor wire after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico on December 18 in Eagle Pass, Texas

President Biden stands next to Alejandro Mayorkas

President Biden stands next to Alejandro Mayorkas

Hundreds of migrants are seen running near the border near Lukeville, Arizona

Hundreds of migrants are seen running near the border near Lukeville, Arizona 

The Republican-controlled House Homeland Security Committee is set to vote Tuesday on the articles of impeachment, aiming to send them to the full House for consideration. 

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has said the House will move forward as soon as possible with a vote.

Passage requires only a House majority. The Senate would hold a trial, and a two-thirds vote is required for conviction, an exceedingly unlikely outcome in the Democratic-run Senate.

Democrats say Republicans have held a sham of an impeachment process against Mayorkas and lack the constitutional grounds to impeach the secretary. 

They also say Republicans are part of the problems at the border, with Republicans attacking Mayorkas even as they have failed to give his department the tools it needs to manage the situation.

‘They don´t want to fix the problem; they want to campaign on it. That´s why they have undermined efforts to achieve bipartisan solutions and ignored the facts, legal scholars and experts, and even the Constitution itself in their quest to baselessly impeach Secretary Mayorkas,’ the department said in a statement Sunday.

The two articles mark the culmination of a roughly yearlong examination by Republicans of the secretary’s handling of the border and what they describe as a crisis of the administration’s own making. 

Republicans contend that the administration and Mayorkas specifically either got rid of policies in place under Trump that had controlled migration or enacted policies of their own that encouraged migrants from around the world to come to the U.S. illegally via the southern border.

They cite growing numbers of migrants who have overwhelmed the capacity of Customs and Border Protection authorities to care and process them. 

Mayorkas has been accused of 'willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law' as hundreds migrants continue to flood over into the US everyday

Mayorkas has been accused of ‘willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law’ as hundreds migrants continue to flood over into the US everyday

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, left, listens to Deputy patrol agent in charge of the US Border Patrol Anthony Crane as he tours the section of the border wall on May 17, 2022, in Hidalgo, Texas

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, left, listens to Deputy patrol agent in charge of the US Border Patrol Anthony Crane as he tours the section of the border wall on May 17, 2022, in Hidalgo, Texas

In an aerial view, immigrants wade across the Rio Grande while crossing from Mexico into the United States on January 7 in Eagle Pass, Texas. According the a new report released by U.S. Department of Homeland Security, some 2.3 million migrants, mostly from families seeking asylum, have been released into the U.S. under the Biden Administration since 2021

In an aerial view, immigrants wade across the Rio Grande while crossing from Mexico into the United States on January 7 in Eagle Pass, Texas. According the a new report released by U.S. Department of Homeland Security, some 2.3 million migrants, mostly from families seeking asylum, have been released into the U.S. under the Biden Administration since 2021

Arrests for illegal crossings topped two million in each of the U.S. government´s past two budget years. In December, arrests for illegal border crossings from Mexico reached an all-time high since figures have been released. 

The backlog of people in immigration court has grown by one million over the past budget year.

In the articles, Republicans argue that Mayorkas is deliberately violating immigration laws passed by Congress, such as those requiring detention of migrants, and that through his policies, a crisis has arisen at the border. 

They accuse him of releasing migrants without effective ways to make sure they show up for court or are removed from the country. 

They cited an Immigration and Customs Enforcement memo written by Mayorkas that sets priorities for whom the agency should target for enforcement proceedings as proof that he is letting people stay in the country who don’t have the right to do so.

They also attacked the administration´s use of the humanitarian parole authority, which allows the DHS secretary to admit certain migrants into the country. 

Republicans said the Biden administration has essentially created a mass parole program that bypasses Congress. 

They cited cities such as New York that have struggled with high numbers of migrants, taxing housing and education systems, as proof of the financial costs immigration is taking.

Democrats say Republicans simply disagree with the administration´s policies and that policy differences aren´t grounds for impeachment. 

They have lambasted the proceedings, calling them a waste of time when lawmakers should be working together to solve the problems.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas join in the Pledge of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 2, 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas join in the Pledge of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 2, 2021

Immigrants from Venezuela pass Texas National Guard soldiers after crossing the Rio Grande into the United States on January 8 in Eagle Pass, Texas

Immigrants from Venezuela pass Texas National Guard soldiers after crossing the Rio Grande into the United States on January 8 in Eagle Pass, Texas

US Border Patrol agents sit on horses near the banks of the Rio Grande river

US Border Patrol agents sit on horses near the banks of the Rio Grande river

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks about immigration in May 2023 in Brownsville, Texas

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks about immigration in May 2023 in Brownsville, Texas

Migrants, many from Haiti, wade across the Rio Grande river from Del Rio

Migrants, many from Haiti, wade across the Rio Grande river from Del Rio

Democrats, as well as Mayorkas, have argued that it´s not the administration´s policies that are causing people to attempt to migrate to America but that the movement is part of a global mass migration of people fleeing wars, economic instability and political repression. 

They have argued that Mayorkas is doing the best he can to manage border security but with a system that hasn´t been updated in decades and is chronically underfunded.

The department on Sunday cited high numbers of people being removed from the country, especially over roughly the last six months and its efforts to tackle fentanyl smuggling as proof that DHS is not shirking its border duties. 

And, they said, no administration has been able to detain every person who crosses the border illegally, citing space capacities. Instead, they focus on those who pose security threats.

‘A standard requiring 100% detention would mean that Congress should have impeached every DHS Secretary since the Department was founded,’ the agency said in the statement.

The last Cabinet secretary to be impeached was William Belknap, the war secretary under President Ulysses Grant, over corruption issues.

The House voted unanimously March 2, 1876, to impeach Belknap on five articles of impeachment that he´d criminally disregarded his Cabinet duties and used his office for private gain. Belknap had resigned earlier that same day. 

After a trial in the Senate, a majority of senators vote to convict him but they didn´t have enough votes to hit the the necessary two-thirds majority and Belknap was acquitted.



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