WASHINGTON — House Republicans took a significant step forward Sunday in their effort to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Republicans charged in the first article of impeachment that he showed “willful and systematic refusal to comply with the law,” while the second article alleges that he “violated the public trust by knowingly making false statements and obstructing statutory oversight of the department.” Homeland Security.”
“These articles present a clear, compelling and irrefutable case for the impeachment of Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., said in a statement.
“The results of his illegal behavior are devastating for our country,” added Green, who wrote the articles of impeachment.
The Department of Homeland Security responded on Sunday With a hint Republicans “undermined efforts to reach a bipartisan settlement and ignored facts, legal scholars and experts, and even the Constitution in a baseless quest to fire Secretary Mayoress.”
Green's panel will consider the allegations on Tuesday. Approval would move the impeachment effort one step closer to a vote in the House. Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said in a letter to colleagues Friday that “a floor vote will be held as soon as possible thereafter,” but did not specify a date.
The Republican-led Homeland Security Committee has criticized Mayorgas' continued implementation of family reunification parole programs that allowed certain aliens to wait in the United States for immigrant visas, saying the measures were illegal. Instead, the first article of impeachment argues that Mayorkas should have priority resources to detain people who cross the border illegally.
DHS said Sunday that under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the department has adhered to the mandatory detention requirements of the INA “to the extent possible,” but that “a standard requiring 100% detention would require Congress to charge every DHS secretary since the department's establishment.”
In a second article of impeachment, Republicans allege Mayorgas knowingly made false statements to Congress that the border was secure and that he was obstructing oversight.
“Congress has a duty to see that the executive branch implements and enforces the laws we pass. Yet Secretary Meyergas has repeatedly refused to do so,” Green said Sunday. “His illegal conduct is what the Framers gave us the power of impeachment to address. It's time we take seriously this affront to a coequal branch of government, to the Constitution, and to the American people.”
Democrats argued there was no legal basis for impeachment. Mayorkas offered to testify at the impeachment hearing this month, though Green accused the secretary of denying the committee's request.
“Conspicuously missing from these articles is the slightest evidence of an actual allegation or more crimes or misdemeanors — the constitutional standard for impeachment,” said Representative Penny Thompson of Mississippi, the top Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee. Report Sunday. “That's not surprising, because the so-called 'investigation' of Republican Secretary Meyergas is a remarkably untrue affair.”
The House Homeland Security Committee officially opened impeachment hearings this month.
The progress on the articles of impeachment comes as negotiations continue between the White House and Congress over border policy changes. The Biden administration made a supplemental request last year that would link border funding to help Ukraine and Israel. While Trump has encouraged Republicans to reject a bipartisan border deal, Senate negotiators have recently accelerated negotiations to craft a deal on those issues.
President Joe Biden reiterated his intention to tackle border security in a statement Friday night, but went a step further by vowing to “close” the border if Congress passes bipartisan immigration legislation.
“For everybody who's calling for tougher border control, this is the way to do it,” he said of the deal emerging in the Senate. “If you're serious about the border crisis, pass a bipartisan bill and I'll sign it.”