In a significant move by the GOP-led House, steps toward the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas were taken, sparking intense opposition from Democrats and the Biden administration. The Homeland Security Committee, in a party-line vote, advanced two articles of impeachment accusing Mayorkas of “willfully and systemically refusing to comply with Federal immigration laws” and breaching public trust by making false statements and obstructing lawful oversight.
The marathon committee meeting lasted roughly 15 hours, marked by Democrats employing delaying tactics and proposing amendments perceived by Republicans as politically motivated and unrelated to impeachable offenses. After blocking further amendments from Democrats, the articles were approved 18-15. Chairman Mark Green (R-TN) called the advancement of these articles “historic” and urged colleagues to put politics aside, emphasizing the need for accountability before addressing the border crisis.
A House floor debate and vote on Mayorkas’ impeachment are expected soon, potentially making it the first time a Cabinet secretary has been impeached since 1876. However, challenges loom, given the GOP’s slim majority and doubts among some members. Additionally, securing a conviction in the Democrat-controlled Senate remains an uphill battle.
The impeachment inquiry into Mayorkas originated from concerns about his handling of the border crisis, with allegations of dereliction of duty. Despite calls for a swift impeachment, the Homeland Security Committee conducted a meticulous probe, producing interim reports and hearings. Democrats dismissed the proceedings as a “political stunt,” yet bipartisan dissatisfaction with the status quo emerged, evident in 14 House Democrats voting to denounce the Biden administration’s “open-borders policies.”
While the White House labeled the endeavor as “unconstitutional,” Mayorkas remained defiant, asserting that false accusations would not distract him from his law enforcement and public service mission. Simultaneously, House Republicans initiated a corruption-focused impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, hinting at heightened political tensions in the broader context of border and immigration policies.