House Republicans release articles of impeachment against Mayorkas

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Washington – House Republicans issued two articles of impeachment against the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas On Sunday, the charges were officially unveiled as they prepare to punish the secretary over the administration’s handling of the U.S.-Mexico border.

in A 20-page impeachment decisionRepublicans on the House Homeland Security Committee accused Mayorkas of “deliberately and systematically refusing to comply with the law” and “violating the public trust.” The committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to consider the articles.

Republicans have repeatedly accused Mayorkas of failing to enforce the country’s laws as a record number of migrants arrive at the US-Mexico border. Democrats and the Department of Homeland Security Criticism of accountability She called the effort a “baseless” political attack, citing experts who testified that Mayorkas’ conduct did not rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the legal basis for impeachment under the Constitution.

The department’s response to the articles in A 4 page memo on Sunday, calling the impeachment effort “a distraction from other vital national security priorities and the work Congress must do to fix our broken immigration laws.”

“They don’t want to solve the problem, they want to campaign about it,” the DHS memo said. “That’s why they undermined efforts to reach bipartisan solutions and ignored facts, legal scholars, experts, and even the Constitution itself in seeking to baselessly impeach Secretary Mayorkas,” he added.

Mayorkas impeachment articles

Title I — willful and systematic refusal to comply with the law — said Mayorkas “repeatedly violated laws enacted by Congress relating to immigration and border security.”

“His refusal to obey the law is not only a crime against the separation of powers in the United States Constitution, he also threatens our national security and has had a dire impact on communities across the country,” the impeachment resolution said.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas responds to questions from lawmakers during a Senate subcommittee hearing on May 4, 2022. / Credit: Amanda Andrade Rhodes/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas responds to questions from lawmakers during a Senate subcommittee hearing on May 4, 2022. / Credit: Amanda Andrade Rhodes/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The resolution accused Mayorkas and the Biden administration of ignoring federal laws requiring the detention of some immigrants, and exceeding their authority in using a power known as parole to resettle more than a million immigrants and refugees in the United States.

DHS said in its memo that the administration “adheres to the mandatory detention requirements of the Mandatory Detention Act.” [Immigration and Naturalization Act] to the greatest extent possible” and noted that Congress “has never provided funding to detain every individual who illegally crosses the border.”

The isolation decision referred to A 2023 decision of the Supreme Court, which ruled that states do not have the power to ask courts to compel the executive branch to enforce certain immigration laws. The justices noted that Congress has other remedies to compel the executive branch to act, such as impeachment, and House Republicans pointed to that ruling to justify the impeachment article.

“Here, in light of the inability of aggrieved parties to seek judicial relief to remedy Alejandro N. Mayorkas’ refusal to comply with the federal immigration laws, impeachment is the only viable option before Congress,” Article 1 reads.

Article II, Violation of the Public Trust, charged Mayorkas with “knowingly making false statements to Congress and the American people and avoiding lawful oversight in order to conceal the devastating consequences of his willful and systematic refusal to comply with the law and implement his lawful decisions.” Duties.”

The article said Mayorkas told Congress that the border was “secure,” that the border was “no less secure than it used to be,” that the border was “closed,” and that the Department of Homeland Security had “operational control” of the border.” “, among other comments.

The department said:[t]Here there is no basis for accusation [Mayorkas] “Lying to Congress,” referring to differences between the legal definition of “operational control” of the border and how the department uses the term internally. The DHS memo cited the head of the Border Patrol, who said last year: “I’ve been doing this job for 32 years. We’ve had no operational control at all.”

Drive accountability

The move came Sunday after House Speaker Mike Johnson said Friday that the House would vote on whether to impeach Mayorkas “as soon as possible” after the committee presents articles.

Johnson argued in a letter told colleagues that Mayorkas “willfully ignored and actively undermined our nation’s immigration laws,” saying the House Homeland Security Committee will file articles of impeachment against Mayorkas when lawmakers return to Washington this week.

“[T]”The House Homeland Security Committee will move forward with preparing articles of impeachment against Secretary Mayorkas. A floor vote will be held as soon as possible afterward,” Johnson wrote.

Democrats on the committee rejected the move to release the articles of impeachment on Sunday, saying evidence for high crimes and misdemeanors is “grossly missing.”

“This should come as no surprise that Republicans’ so-called ‘investigation’ into Secretary Mayorkas was remarkably fact-free,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, the top Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement. “They are abusing Congress’ impeachment power to appease MAGA members, score political points, and distract Americans from a Congress that does nothing.”

Even if the GOP-controlled House impeaches Mayorkas, he is unlikely to be convicted in a trial in the Senate, which has a Democratic majority and would require a two-thirds vote of senators to remove him from office. But Mayorkas would be the first Cabinet official to be impeached since 1876.

Camilo Montoya Galvez contributed reporting.

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