Washington, D.C. – House Republicans are making swift strides in the impeachment proceedings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The committee held its second and final hearing within eight days. The focus of the hearing was on the alleged human costs of Mayorkas’ misconduct and failure to uphold his oath of office, according to GOP Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee, the chairman of the committee.
Mayorkas has been continuously accused by Republicans of not enforcing the nation’s laws as a record number of migrants arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border. During the hearing, lawmakers heard testimony from individuals whose family members died due to fentanyl overdoses or violent crime as a result of Mayorkas’ alleged failures.
In response, the Department of Homeland Security criticized the impeachment effort as a “baseless” political attack. Democrats have argued that there is no legal basis for impeaching Mayorkas, adding to the contentious nature of the proceedings.
A source of contention between House Republicans and the DHS was whether Mayorkas would appear in person during the impeachment proceedings. House Republicans wanted Mayorkas to attend the hearing, but he declined due to a conflicting meeting with Mexican officials about border enforcement. The committee’s request for written testimony was also rebuffed by Mayorkas.
During the hearing, arguments were exchanged between the committee members, with Green accusing Mayorkas of a “cat and mouse” game, to which the highest-ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, reacted by calling it “misinformation.”
The hearing also featured testimony from individuals who blamed the Department of Homeland Security for their family members’ deaths, attributing them to the failures in managing the southern border.
Attorneys general from several states testified at the first impeachment hearing, highlighting the impact of migration on their states under Mayorkas’ leadership. They attributed drug and trafficking incidents in their communities to the surge of migrants at the southern border.
Despite the impeachment efforts, it is highly unlikely that Mayorkas would be convicted in a Senate trial, given the Democratic majority. However, if he were to be impeached, Mayorkas would be the first Cabinet official to face impeachment since 1876.