House Committee Releases Draft Articles of Impeachment Against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Committee on Homeland Security has released draft articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. In a 20-page resolution, the Republican-led committee accuses Mayorkas of high crimes and misdemeanors, including “willfully” disregarding immigration law. The articles specifically point to Mayorkas’ alleged failure to manage the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border and his “breach of public trust.” Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., stated that the committee had exhausted all other options to hold Secretary Mayorkas accountable and that it was now Congress’ duty to impeach him.

However, Democrats on the committee, as well as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), are dismissing the articles as a political “sham.” Ranking member Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., accused Republicans of abusing their impeachment power to score political points and stated that Mayorkas has been upholding the law and honoring the public trust throughout his 30 years of service. The DHS responded with a memo criticizing the Republicans’ effort as a distraction and a refusal to address the broken immigration laws.

The committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to mark up the articles and potentially hold a vote. If the articles pass the committee, they would then go to the full House for an impeachment vote. The Democratic-led Senate would have the final decision on whether to convict Mayorkas.

Mayorkas has been facing blame from Congressional Republicans for the record number of migrants arriving at the southern border last year. However, the Biden administration has attributed the surge in immigration to global violent crises that have displaced many people. Despite some conservative state leaders and their efforts to transport migrants to other cities, Mayors of those cities have criticized the move as politically motivated.

Mayorkas and the DHS have maintained that it is Congress’ responsibility to fix the broken immigration system and overhaul federal immigration laws. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is currently working on a new immigration deal, but former President Donald Trump opposes it, jeopardizing its chances of success.

If impeached, Mayorkas would become the first Cabinet official in U.S. history to be impeached since William Belknap, the secretary of war under President Ulysses Grant, in 1876. Belknap’s impeachment was related to bribery allegations and occurred after he had already resigned.