In a middle-of-the-night vote, House Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee voted early Wednesday to recommend impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for what they call his failure to control immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The impeachment recommendation was approved by an 18-15 margin, strictly by party lines. The measure will now go to the full House, which has a very narrow Republican majority.
A simple majority is all that is needed to impeach Mayorkas in the House, but it is highly unlikely the Senate would remove Mayorkas from office if the House approves the impeachment. It would require two-thirds of senators to convict Mayorkas.
Republicans say that the vote was done to hold Mayorkas accountable for issues at the United States' southern border.
“The facts are indisputable — for three years, Secretary Mayorkas has willfully and systemically refused to comply with the laws enacted by Congress, and he has breached the public trust. His actions created this unprecedented crisis, turning every state into a border state," Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green, R-Maryland, said.
Democrats have called it a "political stunt."
“Every time House Republicans advance their so-called impeachment investigation, we see it further exposed for the political stunt it is. As their arguments fall apart, it is critical we inform the American people about this extreme MAGA Republican sham,” said Ranking Member Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi. “There is no Constitutional basis for this impeachment. Not only has Secretary Mayorkas upheld the law, he is carrying out the Administration’s policies in good faith and in accordance with our American values."
Both Republicans and Democrats have acknowledged struggles with the nation's immigration system. Rising number of migrants from Central America have attempted to enter the U.S. to claim asylum, which would give those immigrants potential legal status to stay in the U.S.
The result of this rise in asylum seekers has resulted in a dramatic increase in enforcement actions by Customs and Border Protection. In fiscal year 2017 (which ran from October 2016 through September 2017), there were 526,901 total enforcement actions by Border Patrol. In fiscal year 2023, that number increased to over 3.2 million.
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