House Republicans moving forward with articles of impeachment against Mayorkas

The House Homeland Security Committee is moving forward with two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The committee will hold a markup Tuesday, Jan. 30, and send the articles to the full House for a yet-to-be scheduled vote.

The articles charge Mayorkas with willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law, and breaching the public trust in violation of his oath to well and faithfully discharge the duties of his office.

“These articles lay out a clear, compelling, and irrefutable case for Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ impeachment,” Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., said in a statement. “He has willfully and systemically refused to comply with immigration laws enacted by Congress. He has breached the public trust by knowingly making false statements to Congress and the American people, and obstructing congressional oversight of his department.”

The articles, unsealed Sunday, Jan. 28, accuse Mayorkas of refusing to enforce immigration law.

“His refusal to obey the law is not only an offense against the separation of powers in the Constitution of the United States, it also threatens our national security and has had a dire impact on communities across the country,” the articles state.

That includes the department’s use of mass parole, which allows immigrants who have no legal right to remain in the country to stay while they apply for a legal status, like asylum.

The articles also accuse Mayorkas of willfully refusing to detain immigrants as required by the Immigration and Nationality Act and implementing a catch and release “scheme” in which migrants who enter the country illegally are released without an effective means to ensure they appear in immigration court.

The DHS responded in a four-page memo that said House Republicans are moving forward with an “unconstitutional, evidence-free impeachment.”

“This farce of an impeachment is a distraction from other vital national security priorities and the work Congress should be doing to actually fix our broken immigration laws,” the DHS memo stated.

The DHS said the Biden administration has an identical apprehension rate, 78%, as the Trump administration. The department also said it adheres to the mandatory detention requirements in the Immigration and Nationality Act to the maximum extent possible, but Congress does not provide enough funding to detain every person who crosses illegally.

The DHS maintains it is using immigration parole in accordance with the law, and that special programs have been created for defined groups for decades, including programs used by the Trump administration.

The department also refuted that Mayorkas has not been cooperative with the investigation. It pointed out that Mayorkas has testified to Congress 27 times and that the department has turned in over 13,000 documents to the committee.

All 18 Republicans on the committee came out in support of impeaching Mayorkas. Based on the committee’s membership, the GOP support would lead to an 18-15 party line vote at the committee markup on Tuesday.

“After our nearly year-long investigation and subsequent impeachment proceedings, and having exhausted all other options to hold him accountable, it is unmistakably clear to all of us — and to the American people — that Congress must exercise its constitutional duty and impeach Secretary Mayorkas,” Green said Jan. 18.

The committee has released five reports since its investigation began that state Mayorkas’ policies have had extraordinary human and financial costs, emboldened cartels, and led to massive waste and abuse. 

Illegal crossings on the southern border have broken records under Mayorkas’ watch.

In fiscal year 2023, Border Patrol encountered 2,475,669 immigrants attempting to illegally enter the country, a yearly record. In December, 302,034 immigrants were encountered, a monthly record.

According to a letter from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Mayorkas recently told a group of Border Patrol agents that more than 85% of the migrants apprehended are released. 

The committee’s highest ranking Democrat, Rep. Bennie Thompson, Miss., wrote a letter to Green Friday, Jan. 26, calling the impeachment a “sham,” and Tuesday’s markup “ill-advised.”

“This unserious impeachment is a testament to partisan politics over rules and reason,” Thompson wrote. 

Thompson laid out five ways he believes the committee has ignored past precedents for impeachment proceedings:

This impeachment inquiry was not authorized by the full House.

Secretary Mayorkas was not afforded any rights in the absence of an authorized impeachment inquiry.

Secretary Mayorkas was not afforded the opportunity to testify before the committee despite his willingness to do so.

Democrats’ properly entered minority day hearing request will not be acted upon prior to the markup of an impeachment resolution.

The committee was used as a platform for members to campaign for other office.

Committee Republicans said they are following the will of the House by moving forward with impeachment proceedings.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., introduced a privileged resolution to impeach Mayorkas in November. Subsequently, 201 Democrats, joined by eight Republicans, voted to refer the articles to the committee.

Mayorkas will not be automatically removed from office if he is impeached. If Congress were a court of law, the impeachment would be equivalent to an indictment; the trial to find him guilty or not guilty would take place in the Senate.

Only one cabinet official has ever been impeached in United States history, Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876.

Belknap was a member of the Ulysses S. Grant administration and a Civil War general. Belknap received quarterly kickbacks more than twice his yearly government salary and used them to fund an extravagant lifestyle for his first and second wives.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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