In a stunning move, the House Homeland Security Committee approved two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday. The committee, led by Chairman Mark Green, voted along party lines to advance the articles that accuse Mayorkas of violating laws regarding immigration and border security and making false statements to Congress.
According to Republicans, Mayorkas has repeatedly mishandled the crisis at the southern border, resulting in record-high border crossings and mass releases of migrants into the interior of the country. They accuse Mayorkas of blatantly disregarding immigration law, which calls for the detention of illegal immigrants, and failing to secure the border.
Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana didn’t hold back, stating, “My colleagues across the aisle seem to say that it’s acceptable to have 10 million illegal crossings in three years and 300,000 Americans dead from opioid overdose. We’re losing our country at the border, and the man responsible for executing that policy is Alejandro Mayorkas.”
But it wasn’t just the Republicans who were fired up at the hearing. Democrats attempted to adjourn the markup and then took aim at their Republican counterparts for what they called a “sham” impeachment. Ranking Member Bennie Thompson accused them of playing politics and trying to please former President Trump.
Rep. Dan Goldman of New York scolded the Republicans, saying, “You do not have a right to demean this institution and bastardize the impeachment clause of the Constitution. You cannot even produce a legal memo in support of your articles of impeachment, which do not exist in history or in the law.”
The bitter back-and-forth comes after months of fighting between the two sides over the impeachment process. Chairman Green’s committee began investigating Mayorkas last year, and House impeachment articles were referred to the committee in November. This was the third hearing on the matter, and Mayorkas was notably absent, choosing to send a letter defending his record instead.
In his letter, Mayorkas slammed the proceedings and declared that “problems with our broken and outdated immigration system are not new.” He pointed to statistics showing increased removals and apprehension rates, as well as efforts to combat fentanyl smuggling. He also pushed back on claims that his department has been unresponsive to congressional oversight.
But Republicans were not convinced, with Green stating, “We cannot allow this border crisis to continue.” And it seems they are not alone in their views on Mayorkas. A recent poll showed that a majority of Americans disapprove of the Biden administration’s handling of the border crisis, and many believe that it is the direct result of Mayorkas’s policies.
🚨 BREAKING: The House Committee on Homeland Security just voted to advance articles of impeachment against DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas out of committee. pic.twitter.com/5Ik873But9
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) January 31, 2024
If the House votes to impeach Mayorkas, the case will go to the Senate for a trial. It remains to be seen if this will actually happen, as it would require a significant number of Democrats crossing party lines to convict the man responsible for Biden’s immigration policies. Nonetheless, the hearing and potential impeachment serve as a microcosm of the ongoing debate over immigration reform in the United States.