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Mayorkas impeached: Are House Republicans right?

Fox News
WRITTEN BY
02/16/24
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Fact Box

  • On February 13, 2024, Republicans in the House of Representatives were successful in their second impeachment attempt on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, citing 'willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law' and 'breach of public trust.” 
  • Between January 2021 and September 2023, there were 7.5 million encounters with migrants. As of January 2024, “the US Border Patrol recorded 124,220 encounters between ports of entry along the southwest border, a decrease of 50% from December 2023,” which met a record high of almost 250,000 in one month.
  • The Constitution outlines impeachment in Article II, Section 4, stating, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” giving Congress this authority.
  • As of a Pew Research February 15 poll, a total 80% of respondents say the US government is doing a ‘bad job’ at handling the situation at the US-Mexico border. Broken into groups, 89% of Republicans and 73% of Democrats disapprove.

Sam (No)

Mayorkas's handling of what is being called the 'border crisis' does not fall into the category of 'high Crimes and Misdemeanors,' which is the constitutional standard for impeachment. While House members of the Republican Party led the impeachment, there are Republican representatives, like Ken Buck, Mike Gallagher, and Tom McClintock, who feel as though the accusations against Mayorkas don't meet the impeachment threshold. The last time that the House of Representatives called for the impeachment of a member of the Cabinet was in 1876, and the charges were brought on the grounds of evidenced corruption. In Mayorkas's case, there is no evidence to justify the charges against him.

Apart from the argument of unconstitutionality, critics of the impeachment effort also point to the possibility for this to backfire on the Republican Party and the federal government as a whole. Rep. Ken Buck warns that the trend of unfounded impeachment charges threatens to erode the public's trust in Congress. Republican analyst Sandra Solin advises against the 'tit-for-tat' attitude regarding disagreements between the parties and their manifestation into impeachment charges. President Biden himself has condemned the House Republican's impeachment efforts as 'petty political games.'

Lastly, critics of the impeachment charges assert that the charges stem from policy disagreements rather than any actual crimes committed by a government official. Furthermore, the impeachment of Mayorkas is an ineffective route to border-policy change. In keeping with America's democratic tradition, policy disputes are meant to be addressed by voters and not through impeachment. 


Curtice (Yes)

The Biden administration’s refusal to address the overwhelming tide of migrants entering the US is indeed an impeachable offense. The Constitution lays out specific requirements for impeachment. Yet, given Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas’ complete dereliction of duty in failing to protect the sovereignty and security of the US, perhaps he has committed ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’ 

Illegal border crossings have surged under Biden. As head of DHS, Mayorkas has failed to uphold the mandatory detention and deportation provisions that already exist in immigration law. Violating the law is, by definition, a crime. As a result, foreign nationals who have entered the country illegally include criminals, drug traffickers, human traffickers, and suspected terrorists. DHS has even recognized the 'national security risk' of terrorism due to the rise in illegally crossing foreigners from Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, etc. It's not exclusively South Americans entering but unvetted people worldwide with unknown motivations. Illegal border crossings are often only the first of many laws these migrants flagrantly break. The recent attack on a New York City Police officer by illegal immigrants is a terrifying example of the blatant disregard for authority migrants display as they commit crimes without the threat of deportation.

Under Mayorkas, DSH has orchestrated a system of secretly transporting illegal aliens throughout the US rather than detaining and removing them as the law requires. DHS treats all those who enter illegally as 'refugees' or 'asylum seekers,' even though it is not true. Most are not coming to flee persecution in their home countries, as less than 30% claim asylum yet are allowed to stay. Lack of border enforcement has been willful and intentional on the part of Mayorkas and the Biden administration. Impeaching Mayorkas is both warranted and long overdue.

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