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HomeGeneralExperts Condemn GOP's Attempt to Impeach Mayorkas, Say It's "Performance Politics"

Experts Condemn GOP’s Attempt to Impeach Mayorkas, Say It’s “Performance Politics”

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Alejandro Mayorkas
Source: PBS

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas narrowly avoided impeachment after a contentious vote in the House of Representatives. Mayorkas was probed over his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border crisis. The impeachment effort, which GOP members primarily led, targeted Mayorkas for his management of the border situation.

The charges brought against him were in two folds. The first was “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law.” The second charge was a “breach of public trust” concerning the administration’s management of the migrant crisis at the southern border. 

To counter the charges, the Department of Homeland Security said that Congress had never given the executive branch the resources and personnel. Therefore, they didn’t have what it took to detain every migrant as required by federal immigration law. 

However, despite intense pressure from within his party and from Republican lawmakers, he managed to secure his position by a whisker. He survived by a margin of 214 in favor to 216 opposed, with four Republicans siding with Democrats against the resolution.  

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ALSO READ: DHS Boss Alejandro Mayorkas Blames Abbott for Migrant Crisis Ravaging Sanctuary Cities

Republicans who broke ranks insisted that Mayorkas’ actions did not amount to an impeachable offense. They also raised concerns about the consequences of the votes had he been impeached. Representative Blake Moore of Utah, the GOP conference vice chair, switched his vote to “no” at the last minute.  

Most likely, Mayorkas won’t be removed from his position by the Democrat-controlled Senate. After all, many GOP bills have been passed but never reached President Biden’s desk. In plain terms, Mayorkas’ impeachment is “performance politics” in action. According to Mia Ehrenberg, a spokesperson for the DHS, the “baseless impeachment should never have moved forward.” 

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“If House Republicans are serious about border security, they should abandon these political games and instead support the bipartisan national security agreement in the Senate to get DHS the enforcement resources we need,” she said after the vote. “Secretary Mayorkas remains focused on working across the aisle to promote real solutions at the border and keep our country safe.” 

Shortly before Mayorkas’ impeachment vote, Republicans in the Senate, under former President Donald Trump, had blocked a border security and foreign aid bill. This happened even though GOP-selected officials at the bipartisan negotiation table had secured “wins” on several immigration-related policies in the final draft.

ALSO READ: House Lawmakers Set to Vote on Impeaching Mayorkas Over Border Security Concerns 

Even if the bill had passed in the Senate, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson said it would be “dead on arrival” in the House. His reason was that the bill was insufficient to address the influx of immigrants entering the country. Johnson and the Republicans were skeptical that the legislation wouldn’t address all their concerns about US immigration policies. 

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However, outrightly rejecting a bill that at least addresses some of their frustrations does not speak well for the Republicans. It shows that, as a party, they would rather disregard responsibilities and concentrate on provoking potential voters before the 2024 election.

A typical case is Republican Rep. Mark Green, who didn’t know who would replace Mayorkas if he were impeached. After the impeachment vote, Green said the party was ready to impeach DHS secretaries until they found one they liked. “If that person doesn’t do his job well, we will impeach his ass too,” he said.

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