Homeland Security Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has moved forward with two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The charges stem from his handling of the ongoing border crisis and have been met with staunch resistance from Democrats and the Biden administration.
The committee, following a party-line vote, approved two articles of impeachment. The first accuses Mayorkas of systematically and willfully refusing to adhere to Federal immigration laws. The second alleges that he breached public trust by making false statements, obstructing lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security, and lying to Congress.
A marathon meeting lasting approximately 15 hours led to this decision. Throughout the meeting, Democrats attempted to delay proceedings and proposed amendments unrelated to the impeachable offenses, according to the Republicans. However, the GOP managed to halt further amendments from Democrats, leading to the approval of the articles by an 18-15 vote in the early hours of the morning in Washington, D.C.
Chairman Mark Green (R-TN) communicated his approval of the committee’s decision, urging his colleagues across the political spectrum to prioritize accountability over politics. He believes it is necessary to address Mayorkas’ actions before attempting to rectify his mistakes.
The House is expected to debate and vote on Mayorkas’s impeachment as early as next week. If successful, it would mark the first impeachment of a Cabinet secretary since 1876. However, the Republicans face a narrow majority and doubts within their ranks. Furthermore, achieving a conviction in the Democrat-majority Senate remains a challenging prospect.
In June last year, the Homeland Security panel launched an investigation into Mayorkas’ alleged neglect of duty at the U.S.-Mexico border. This was prompted by increasing concerns about the influx of migrants and the rise in fentanyl poisonings linked to drug trafficking. Although some members, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), called for swift impeachment, the committee proceeded with a thorough inquiry that concluded earlier this month.
Democrats have dismissed the impeachment proceedings as a political ploy. However, 14 House Democrats recently voted alongside most Republicans to condemn the Biden administration’s “open-borders policies,” indicating a bipartisan desire for change amidst a surge in crossings and overwhelmed cities.
The White House has labeled the impeachment effort as “unconstitutional,” and Mayorkas himself has dismissed the allegations, claiming they do not affect his commitment to his law enforcement and public service mission.