House of Representatives impeach Homeland Security secretary

This was the GOP's second attempt to impeach Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.

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Image Credit: Benjamin Applebaum

In a 214-213 vote, the House of Representatives impeached Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Homeland Security secretary, making him the first sitting cabinet secretary to be forcibly removed since 1876. GOP member of the House tried to impeach Mayorkas a week prior to this vote, but fell short.

His impeachment is based on articles of refusing to enforce a law that mandates the detention of migrants who do not have authorization to enter the U.S. and breaching public trust by misrepresenting the state of the border to lawmakers, Causes.com reported.

“House Republicans will be remembered by history for trampling on the Constitution for political gain rather than working to solve the serious challenges at our border,” Mia Ehrenberg, a DHS spokesperson, said.

Many House Republicans said they indicted Mayorkas for “crimes and misdemeanors for failing to lock down the U.S.-Mexico border amid a surge of migrant crossings,” Causes.com reported. But others Republican lawmakers said, while “Secretary Mayorkas is guilty of maladministration of our immigration laws on a cosmic scale, it’s not grounds for impeachment.”

“Secretary Mayorkas is guilty of maladministration of our immigration laws on a cosmic scale, but we know that’s not grounds for impeachment, because the American founders specifically rejected it,” Rep. Tom McClintock (Calif.), said. “[Cabinet secretaries] can be impeached for committing a crime relating to their office, but not for carrying out presidential policy. This border crisis can’t be fixed by replacing one left-wing official with another.”

Mayorkas is now up against the Senate where there is little belief he will be removed from office.

“This sham impeachment effort is another embarrassment for House Republicans,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “The one and only reason for this impeachment is for Speaker Johnson to further appease Donald Trump.”

President Biden condemned the impeachment vote.

“History will not look kindly on House Republicans for their blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship that has targeted an honorable public servant in order to play petty political games,” Biden said.

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