Two Articles of Impeachment
House Republicans are set to vote on two articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The articles accuse Mayorkas of repeatedly violating immigration and border security laws enacted by Congress, as well as making false statements to Congress regarding the border’s security and closure. The push for impeachment comes after months of investigation into Mayorkas’ handling of the crisis at the southern border.
Concerns and Defections
Representative Tom McClintock became the latest House Republican to voice concerns about impeaching Mayorkas, joining Representative Ken Buck and possibly Representative Mike Gallagher. With a slim House majority, Republicans can only afford three defections if all lawmakers are present and all Democrats vote against impeachment.
A Blow to House Republicans
If the impeachment push fails, it would be a significant setback for House Republicans who have dedicated much of their time investigating Mayorkas. The House Homeland Security Committee advanced the two articles last week, and if approved by the House, they will proceed to a trial in the Senate. This would mark the first impeachment since 1876.
Accusations and Denials
Republicans accuse Mayorkas of fueling the crisis at the border with “open border” policies such as catch-and-release and reduced interior enforcement. They also claim that Mayorkas has not followed immigration law and failed to secure the border. Mayorkas vigorously denies these allegations.
Disagreements over Impeachment Process
The process of impeachment has faced criticism from the Department of Homeland Security, House Democrats, and some Republicans. They argue that the push for impeachment is politically motivated and based on policy disagreements rather than high crimes and misdemeanors. The Biden administration points to Mayorkas’ efforts to secure the border and highlights over 500,000 removals since May, as well as record seizures of fentanyl at the border.
The impeachment of Mayorkas has faced opposition from various voices, including former impeachment witness Jonathan Turley and former President Trump’s defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz. Former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff has called for dropping the impeachment efforts and working with Mayorkas to solve the crisis.