House Republicans fail to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on October 31, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The committee heard testimony on the topic of 'Threats to the Homeland.'
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on October 31, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The committee heard testimony on the topic of "Threats to the Homeland." | Win McNamee/Getty Images

The United States House of Representatives has narrowly voted against impeaching U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over the southern border crisis.

House members voted 214-216 late Tuesday against a resolution to impeach Mayorkas. The vote was largely on party lines, with all Democrats and only four Republicans voting no. 

The impeachment resolution would have gone next go to the Democrat-controlled Senate, where it would have needed at least 67 votes to pass and thus remove Mayorkas from office.

Last November, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., introduced House Resolution 863, which called for the impeachment of Mayorkas “for high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Specifically, the resolution said Mayorkas had violated multiple provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, including the unlawful release of immigrants who had entered the country illegally.

“Mayorkas’s willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law has had calamitous consequences for the Nation and the people of the United States,” the resolution states.

“Mayorkas willfully and systemically refused to comply with the immigration laws, failed to control the border to the detriment of national security, compromised public safety, and violated the rule of law and separation of powers in the Constitution, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”

The resolution came amid reports showing a record number of economic migrant crossings and the deaths of those who entered the nation illegally.  

House Democrats denounced the impeachment resolution, arguing that the proposed measure was nothing more than political ploy attacking someone over a policy disagreement.

Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, whose district includes the city of El Paso, argued in remarks made on the House floor that she believed “the real problem” was “congressional inaction on immigration reform.”

“As a border legislator, I’ve never met a more committed, accessible cabinet member than Secretary Mayorkas,” Escobar claimed. “He is a great public servant doing everything he can with the limited resources Congress has given to him.”

“I invite my Republican colleagues who want to solve this, who really want to solve this, to join the bipartisan coalition supporting the Dignity Act. Stop playing games and do your job.”

For their part, House Republicans argued that Mayorkas had failed to fulfill his sworn oath to protect the country from foreign enemies and was purposely weakening border security.

Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, who presented the impeachment resolution, argued on the House floor that “we’ve all watched the unprecedented crisis at our borders unfold” since Mayorkas became DHS secretary.

“Under Secretary Mayorkas’ watch, CBP has reported more than 8.5 million encounters at our borders, including more than 7 million apprehensions at the Southwest border,” said Green.

“Even more terrifying is the approximate 1.8 million known gotaways, that Border Patrol agents detect, but are unable to apprehend. Millions of those inadmissible aliens who are encountered are eventually released into our communities.”

Green added that his committee thoroughly investigated the situation and concluded that “Secretary Mayorkas’ willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law and his breach of public trust are responsible for this historic crisis.”

“This is not about policy differences. We certainly object to Secretary Mayorkas’ policies, but this goes far deeper,” Green continued. “Again, we are here because our oath and duty compel us to be here. The actions and decisions of Secretary Mayorkas have left us with no other option than to proceed with articles of impeachment.”

In advance of the vote, Reps. Ken Buck, R-Colo., and Tom McClintock, R-Calif., both stated that they would vote against the impeachment resolution.

“The only way to stop the border invasion is to replace the Biden administration at the ballot box,” said McClintock, according to Politico. “Swapping one leftist for another is a fantasy, solves nothing, excuses Biden’s culpability, and unconstitutionally expands impeachment that someday will bite Republicans.”

In a post on X Tuesday night, Congresswoman Greene clarified: "The 3 no votes against impeaching Mayorkas were: Mike Gallagher (WI-08) Tom McClintock (CA-05) Ken Buck (CO-04). Blake Moore changed his vote no when asked by leadership for procedural reasons to make a motion to reconsider so that we can vote on impeachment again next week. We look forward to Leader Steve Scalise returning to vote yes and officially impeaching Secretary Mayorkas."

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