House Republicans are seeking a historic impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

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House Republicans are scheduled to hold a vote on Tuesday that would bring Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas a step closer to a historic impeachment over his handling of the southern border.

The GOP-led House Homeland Security Committee is scheduled to debate and ultimately vote on articles of impeachment against Mayorkas at a hearing on Capitol Hill after Republicans said the secretary failed to enforce the law at the southern border, allowing an influx of migrants.

It will likely pass committee and move to the House floor for a vote despite Democrats saying there is no evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors — the usual bar on impeachment. If Trump is voted to impeach in the House of Representatives, this would force a trial in the Senate.

If Mayorkas is removed, he will be the first Cabinet member in nearly 150 years. Only one secretary was ever impeached by the House, William Belknap, who resigned as Secretary of War under President Ulysses S. Grant shortly before the House voted against him in 1876.

Chairman Mark Green, a Republican from Tennessee, opened the hearing by saying that Mayorkas “puts his political preferences above the law” and that his “actions forced us” because “we cannot allow this border crisis to continue. We cannot allow fentanyl to flood our country.” border.”

He pointed to the two articles of impeachment passed by the conference accusing Mayorkas of “deliberate and systematic refusal to comply with the law” and “violation of the public trust.”

Photo: Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., center, speaks as Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee move to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, at the Capitol, Jan. 30, 2024, in Washington.

Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., center, speaks as Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee move to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, at the Capitol, on Jan. 30, 2024, in Washington.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Green called on the committee to push for the use of Congress’s impeachment power “to remove from office those who do not deserve it.”

“Secretary Mayorkas is the same type of public official that the Framers feared as someone who would abandon the laws enforced by a co-equal branch of government and replace those laws with his own preferences, harming his fellow Americans in the process,” Green said.

“Republicans have failed to present a constitutionally viable case for impeaching Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a dedicated public servant,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat. He described the session as a “terrible day” for the committee.

“Secretary Mayorkas’s bogus impeachment is a baseless political ploy by extremist MAGA Republicans,” Thompson said.

Mayorkas called the impeachment proceedings “baseless” and the accusations against him by the Homeland Security Committee “false” in a nearly seven-page letter to the committee.

Democrats have opposed efforts to impeach Mayorkas — with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries criticizing the effort.

Photo: Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, speaks during a news conference during his visit to the US-Mexico border, on January 8, 2024, in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, speaks during a news conference during his visit to the U.S.-Mexico border, on January 8, 2024, in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Kylie Greenlee Bell/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

“It is clear that Republicans have handed their ever-shrinking majority to extremists,” Jeffries said Monday. “This false dismissal of Secretary Mayorkas is just another sad example.”

“All they are seeking to do with this phony impeachment is escape their extreme do-nothing record and try to distract the American people with this political ploy,” Jeffries said.

Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee put forward a report Monday asserting that House Republicans are abusing their power by moving toward impeaching Trump. Democrats say Mayorkas supports the law while Republicans are trying to “sabotage” the administration’s efforts to secure the border — all to help former President Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, win the presidency this fall.

Border security is a major issue in the 2024 election with a focus on how the Biden administration handles the increase in migrants crossing the border.

Senate negotiators — with Mayorkas’ help — are working on a bipartisan border security package, with an agreement on the horizon. But many in the Republican Party are threatening to derail the effort. Trump is throwing cold water on the deal, saying on Monday that “the border bill is not necessary.” House Speaker Mike Johnson said the bill appeared “dead on arrival” in the House.

ABC News’ Quinn Owen, John Parkinson and Luke Barr contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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