House of Representatives Votes to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Over Crisis at the Border

Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, has been impeached by the House of Representatives.

Not since 1976 has a Cabinet secretary been impeached.

Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Mayorkas’ impeachment trial would start later this month.

“The House impeachment managers will present the articles of impeachment to the Senate following the state work period,” said Schumer’s office in a statement. “Senators will be sworn in as jurors in the trial the next day. Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray will preside.”

The vote Tuesday evening marked the second attempt by House Republicans to impeach Mayorkas. Republican legislators targeted the Biden official over the continuing migrant crisis at the U.S. border and accused him of flaunting existing immigration law deliberately and making the situation worse. 

The vote, which ended at 214-213, was expected to be tight. Secretary Mayorkas narrowly escaped impeachment last week when all House Democrats voted to shield him, including Representative Al Green of Texas, who left the hospital temporarily while recovering from surgery, to cast his vote.

Three in the GOP voted down the effort — Ken Buck of Colorado, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, and Tom McClintock of California.

Each of the senators criticized Mayorkas’ handling of the Border but had reservations over whether it rose to the impeachment level. McClintock warned it could set a precedent for political impeachments that might harm Republican officials in the future.

“Swapping one leftist for another is a fantasy, solves nothing, excuses Biden’s culpability, and unconstitutionally expands impeachment that someday will bite Republicans,” said McClintock last week.

But, GOP Speaker of the House Mike Johnson of Louisiana dismissed concerns about the precedent in comments to reporters hours before the Tuesday vote.

“Mayorkas is an exceptional case in U.S. history,” said Johnson, and accused him of doing more “damage on the country than any Cabinet secretary that’s ever been.”

Johnson also addressed the likelihood that the impeachment wouldn’t go anywhere in the Democrat-held Senate.

“The House has a constitutional responsibility, as I’ve said many times. It’s probably the heaviest next to the declaration of war. And we have to do our job regardless of what the other chamber does,” said Johnson.

Two articles for impeachment were approved against Mayorkas by the House Homeland Security Committee. One article accused him of ” refusing to comply with Federal immigration laws” and the other of violating “public trust.”

DHS, Biden react to Mayorkas impeachment

The Department of Homeland Security criticized GOP House members for holding a second impeachment vote on Mayorkas on Tuesday. It cited comments by Republican legislators who have called the effort a waste of time.

“House Republicans’ baseless push to impeach Secretary Mayorkas has already failed once, with bipartisan opposition. If Members of Congress care about our time on this pointless, unconstitutional impeachment — time that could be spent addressing the issue by advancing bipartisan legislation to fix our broken immigration laws and provide needed resources for border security,” said the department.

A spokesperson for 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.”

“While Secretary Mayorkas was helping a group of Republican and Democratic Senators develop bipartisan solutions to strengthen border security and get needed resources for enforcement, House Republicans have wasted months with this baseless, unconstitutional impeachment,” said the spokesperson.

“Without a shred of evidence or legitimate Constitutional grounds, and despite bipartisan opposition, House Republicans have falsely smeared a dedicated public servant who has spent more than 20 years enforcing our laws and serving our country. Secretary Mayorkas and the Department of Homeland Security will continue working every day to keep Americans safe.”

President Joe Biden said, “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.”

“This impeachment already failed on a bipartisan vote. Instead of staging political stunts like this, Republicans with genuine concerns about the Border should want Congress to deliver more border resources and stronger border security.”