The House Homeland Security Committee approved two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas early Wednesday morning, sending them to the House floor for a historic vote.
“I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do the right thing, put aside the politics, and agree that before we can fix Secretary Mayorkas’ mess, Congress must finally hold this man accountable,” Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (Tenn.)
said in a statement.
Although the Democrat-controlled Senate will likely spare Mayorkas from an ouster, an impeachment trial could nevertheless prove impactful ahead of the 2024 election.
article of impeachment accuses DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of a willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law.
Mayorkas allegedly violated “his oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, to bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and to well and faithfully discharge the duties of his office,” according to the article.
The first article further claims that 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.”
The second article accuses Mayorkas of knowingly making false statements and obstructing lawful oversight of the DHS.
In addition to falsely claiming that U.S. Border Patrol agents maliciously whipped illegal aliens and that apprehended illegal aliens were being quickly removed, Mayorkas is also accused of making false statements to Congress concerning the “scope and adequacy of the vetting of the thousands of Afghans who were airlifted to the United States.”
The impeachment proceedings came after a five-phase investigation and 10 subcommittee hearings examining Mayorka’s role in the crisis at the southern border.
“The facts are indisputable,” said Chairman Green. “For three years, Secretary Mayorkas has willfully and systemically refused to comply with the laws enacted by Congress, and he has breached the public trust. His actions created this unprecedented crisis, turning every state into a border state.”
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 988,819 illegal aliens stole into the nation under Mayorkas’ watch between October and December 2023. 2.47 million illegal aliens entered the U.S. in fiscal year 2023; 2.37 million in FY 2022; and 1.73 million in FY 2021. Over 60% of those crossing the border illegally in fiscal years 2021-2023 were single adults.
previously reported that a coalition of former FBI officials warned Congress last week that the border crisis was ushering in a “new and imminent danger” from “military-aged men from across the globe,” which could result in a catastrophic attack on American soil.
“As a result, thousands of Americans have lost their lives and our nation is experiencing a historic national security, public safety, and humanitarian catastrophe,” continued Chairman Green. “Make no mistake, Secretary Mayorkas’ lawlessness is exactly what the Framers of our Constitution designed impeachment to remedy.”
To the floor
Mayorkas defended himself in a last-minute Tuesday letter to the House Homeland Security Committee,
“I assure you that your false accusations do not rattle me and do not divert me from the law enforcement and broader public service mission to which I have devoted most of my career and to which I remain devoted,” wrote Mayorkas. “I will defer a discussion of the Constitutionality of your current effort to the many respected scholars and experts across the political spectrum who already have opined that it is contrary to law.”
said in response, “Secretary Mayorkas’ 11th-hour response to the Committee is inadequate and unbecoming of a Cabinet secretary. … A letter at 4:48am on the morning of our markup, repeating the same false claims and doubling down on his commitment to his continued lawless conduct, indicates the contempt with which he views Congress, the American people, and the Constitution he swore an oath to defend.”
The committee deliberated for over 10 hours Tuesday, then passed the articles of impeachment early Wednesday morning in an 18-15 party-line vote.
“Today is a grave day. We have not approached this day or this process lightly. Secretary Mayorkas’ actions have forced our hand,” Chairman Greensaid in his opening statements,
If the House floor vote is ultimately successful, Mayorkas would be the first Cabinet secretary impeached in nearly 150 years. President Ulysses Grant’s secretary of war, William Belknap, resigned just ahead of his impeachment in 1876,
reported ABC News.
Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), previously the chair of the Jan. 6 committee, claimed that the “impeachment scheme is a dangerous attempt to distort the Constitution and the secretary’s record to cover up [Republicans’] inability and unwillingness to work with Democrats.”
added that “it’s not in the best interests of this government,” but rather an attempt to placate “some of the most extreme elements in the Republican Party.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.)
tweeted after the vote, “Secretary Mayorkas has broken federal law and is the one to blame for all the horror, crime, death, murder, rape, and over 1.8 million known gotaways. But Democrats say this impeachment proceeding is over policy differences. Is this the immigration policy of the Democrats?”
Arizona Rep. Eli Crane joined other Republicans in
stressing that “willingly exposing Americans to unnecessary threats through an open border deserves immediate removal. Let’s get it done.”
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), who filed impeachment articles against Mayorkas over two years ago,
suggested that today is Mayorkas’ “day of reckoning.”
The New York Times
indicated that the charges are likely to fail in the Democrat-controlled Senate, where a two-thirds majority would be necessary to both convict and oust Mayorkas; however, it’s not all for naught.
The liberal paper conceded that it would “force and election-year trial that would fuel what promises to be a charged political debate” over the border crisis overseen by the Biden administration.
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