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Mayorkas the first cabinet official to...

Mayorkas the first cabinet official to be impeached in nearly 150 years

By: Frank Corder - February 14, 2024

FILE - Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill, Nov. 8, 2023, in Washington. House Republicans are marching ahead with impeachment plans, their sights on Mayorkas as "derelict in his duty" over handling of the U.S.-Mexico border. Speaker Mike Johnson gave his nod to Wednesday's hearing at the Homeland Security Committee.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

  • The articles of impeachment against the Secretary of Homeland Security will now be transmitted to the U.S. Senate where it’s unlikely the Democratic-majority chamber will vote to convict him.

Tuesday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 214-213 to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The action by the Republican-majority is a historic rebuke of the Biden Administration’s immigration and U.S. border security policies.

Mayorkas’ impeachment is the first for a cabinet level official since Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876.

The vote was the second attempt to impeach the Secretary in a week, as the last attempt failed by a vote of 216-214 but was held on a motion to reconsider.

READ MORE: U.S. House Republicans fail to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas

The articles of impeachment against Mayorkas outlined in H.Res. 863 state that his being impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors related to repeatedly violating laws enacted by Congress regarding immigration and border security. The resolution goes on to say:

In large part because of his unlawful conduct, millions of aliens have illegally entered the United States on an annual basis with many unlawfully remaining in the United States. 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. Despite clear evidence that his willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law has significantly contributed to unprecedented levels of illegal entrants, the increased control of the Southwest border by drug cartels, and the imposition of enormous costs on States and localities affected by the influx of aliens, Alejandro N. Mayorkas has continued in his refusal to comply with the law, and thereby acted to the grave detriment of the interests of the United States.

The impeachment articles also outline the rise in illegal entries into the U.S. since Mayorkas became Homeland Security Secretary. According to the resolution, since fiscal year 2021 under the Biden Administration, over 6 million encounters with illegal migrants have occurred at the U.S.-Mexico border with 1.75 million entrants not being turned back or apprehended after making an illegal entry. The articles also note that the immigration court backlog has more than doubled during the tenure of Mayorkas, from about 1.3 million cases to over 3 million.

Three Republicans voted against Secretary Mayorkas’ impeachment just as they did last week. Those GOP Congressmen voting with all House Democrats were Ken Buck (Colorado.), Tom McClintock (California) and Mike Gallagher (Wisconsin).

As for Mississippi’s delegation, all three Republican Congressmen – Trent Kelly (MS-1), Michael Guest (MS-2) and Mike Ezell (MS-4) – voted to impeach Mayorkas while the state’s lone Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson (MS-2) opposed the resolution.

The articles of impeachment will now be transmitted to the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate where Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (New York) has not committed to holding a trial. Given the two-thirds majority vote threshold required to convict Mayorkas in the Senate, with a 51-49 Democratic majority, the likelihood of the Secretary facing further rebuke is slim.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank:
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