Republican representatives in the U.S. House have initiated an impeachment hearing against President Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, citing record numbers of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Representative Mark Green, chairman of the committee, accused Mayorkas of promoting illegal immigration through his policies.
Mayorkas impeachment: A clash over Biden’s border policies
“The secretary’s actions have brought us here today, not ours,” Green stated, labeling Mayorkas as “the architect of the devastation” at the border.
This impeachment is a significant moment in the ongoing Republican critique of Biden’s border policies, which were a shift from the previous administration’s more stringent approach.
Democrats and some Senate Republicans view this impeachment effort as a policy disagreement rather than a legitimate cause for impeachment.
Historical precedent and political debate surrounding Mayorkas’ impeachment
Notably, the only other cabinet secretary impeached was President Grant’s secretary of war in 1876.
Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson dismissed the impeachment as a “circus sideshow,” accusing Republicans of using it to deflect from their border security failures.
He highlighted the rejection of a White House proposal that included $14 billion for border enhancements, contributing to the difficulties in passing funding legislation and avoiding a government shutdown.
Partisan dynamics and legal scrutiny in Mayorkas’ impeachment saga
The impeachment of Mayorkas is seen in the context of the Republicans’ recent use of impeachment inquiries, including investigations into President Biden’s and his son Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.
Trump’s two impeachments and subsequent acquittals in 2019 and 2021 by a Democratic-controlled House and a Republican-majority Senate underscore the partisan nature of recent impeachment efforts.
Frank Bowman, a legal expert, testified that Republicans lacked evidence of impeachable offenses by Mayorkas, such as corruption or abuse of power.
Impeachment challenges and Mayorkas’ stance on border policy
“Whatever may be the grounds for impeachment and removal, dislike of a president’s policy is certainly not one of them,” Bowman quoted Charles Black.
With the House narrowly controlled by Republicans, the impeachment might pass there, but a conviction in the Democratic-majority Senate appears unlikely.
During a visit to the Texas-Mexico border, Mayorkas emphasized his commitment to law enforcement and called for immigration law reforms and increased border security funding.
Mayorkas’ future hearing and state-level concerns over illegal immigration
He has been invited to a second impeachment hearing but has not confirmed his attendance.
Republican attorneys general from Missouri, Montana, and Oklahoma, testifying at the hearing, criticized Mayorkas and linked illegal immigration to financial burdens on their states due to healthcare and other services.
They also connected illegal entries to U.S. fentanyl overdose deaths, though most drug seizures occur at legal border crossings.