House Republicans are ready to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas if they have the votes


WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. House is ready to impeach the Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas The deeply partisan and highly unusual attack on a Cabinet official, over border security, has alarmed constitutional scholars and drawn rebuke from Democrats.

Republicans in the House argue that Mayorkas has “refused to follow” immigration laws, resulting in a record increase in the number of immigrants. US-Mexico border and “breached the public trust” by his actions and comments. The House will vote Tuesday on the charges, which Democrats say are false and there is no basis for impeachment.

No Cabinet secretary has faced impeachment charges since 1876 and it is the first time that a sitting secretary is being impeached – 148 years ago, Secretary of War William Belknap resigned just before the vote. Had given.

“Very clearly Secretary Mayorkas has chosen which laws he is going to enforce,” Rep. Mark Green, R-Tennessee, chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, said at a hearing before the vote.

impeachment charges The case against Mayorkas comes as border security is increasingly becoming a top political issue in the 2024 election, a particularly powerful line of attack being leveled at the president. Joe Biden by the Republicans, led by the party’s leading contender for the presidential nomination, Donald Trump,

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Record numbers of people are arriving at the southern border, fleeing many countries around the world, in what Mayorkas calls the era of global migration. Many migrants claiming asylum and being conditionally released into the US are arriving in cities that do not have adequate facilities to provide housing and other support while they await judicial proceedings, In which it may take several years to determine whether they can live or not.

House Democrats are expected to unite against the two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, calling the proceedings a sham on charges that do not fall within the scope of treason, bribery or “high crimes and misdemeanors” according to the Constitution.

“This is a complete waste of time,” Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., said at Monday’s hearing.

Mayorkas’ impeachment moved quickly onto the House agenda after Republican efforts to impeach Biden over the business dealings of his son, Hunter Biden, cooled and delayed the investigation into the Biden family.

Greene’s committee had been investigating the Homeland Security secretary for most of last year, but Trump’s ally, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. A proposal by took it forward. The panel held two rapid hearings in January before announcing two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas.

The secretary, a former federal prosecutor, never testified on his own behalf, but presented a rare letter to the panel defend your work,

Tuesday’s vote comes at a politically awkward turn for Mayorkas, who is turning to the Senate for negotiations. bipartisan border security packageEarning high marks from a group of senators involved in the effort.

The legislation, which was unveiled on Sunday and is headed for a test vote on Wednesday, is one of the most ambitious immigration reforms in years. but other Republicans are condemning the bipartisan effort.And House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., says it’s “dead on arrival.”

It’s not at all clear that Johnson, who has the smallest House majority in modern times, has the support of nearly all the Republicans needed to impeach Mayorkas. Some holdouts went ahead with the scheduled vote.

Even if Republicans are able to impeach Mayorkas, he is not expected to be convicted in a Senate trial, where Republican senators have been cool to the effort. In fact, the Senate may refer the matter to a committee for its own investigation, thereby delaying immediate action.

Impeachment, once rare In America, it is being used as a constitutional control on the executive as well as a political weapon.

House Republicans have prioritized impeachment, censure and other reprimands of officials and lawmakers this session of Congress, setting a new standard that is alarming scholars and others about the ways in which they are prosecuted for alleged crimes. Can punish.

Experts have argued that Mayorkas is locked in a policy dispute with Republicans who reject the Biden administration’s approach to the border situation.

Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley said impeachment should not be used to punish “a bad cabinet member”. “Whatever else Mayorkas may or may not have done, he has not committed bribery, treason, or high crimes and misdemeanors,” attorney Alan Dershowitz wrote.

“This impeachment is exactly what should never have happened,” said Deborah Pearlstein, director of the Princeton Program on Law and Public Policy, who testified before the panel in an interview.

Trump was impeached twice as president – ​​first on charges of inciting then-opponent Biden on corruption over his phone call with the Ukrainian president in 2019, and later on January 6, 2021, on charges of inciting insurrection at the Capitol. In. He was acquitted of both impeachments in the Senate.

Belknap, who was impeached over a bribery scheme in government contracts, was acquitted in a Senate trial.

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