Republicans go after Biden's homeland security chief in latest impeachment effort

Washington DC - House Republicans on Wednesday announced impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden's homeland security chief as they seek to cement immigration as a major issue in November's presidential election.

House Republicans on Wednesday announced impeachment proceedings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
House Republicans on Wednesday announced impeachment proceedings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.  © SAUL LOEB / AFP

Up to 10,000 migrants have been detained daily of late after crossing illegally from Mexico in what Republicans describe as a humanitarian disaster, while the White House and lawmakers have failed to agree on immigration reforms.

Republicans in Congress, who concluded a probe into Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in December, accuse the Democrat of creating a national security emergency by ignoring immigration policy.

No impeachment vote has been scheduled, but House Homeland Security Committee chairman Mark Green said an initial hearing would be held next Wednesday.

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"Our investigation made clear that this crisis finds its foundation in Secretary Mayorkas' decision-making and refusal to enforce the laws passed by Congress, and that his failure to fulfill his oath of office demands accountability," he said.

A majority of the House would be required to vote that Mayorkas had committed "high crimes and misdemeanors," prompting a Senate trial that would boot him from office in the extremely unlikely case that two-thirds of senators voted to convict.

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House Speaker Mike Johnson and his fellow House Republicans are demanding a draconian approach to migration.
House Speaker Mike Johnson and his fellow House Republicans are demanding a draconian approach to migration.  © Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP

The proceedings add to Biden's election-year headaches as he faces his own Republican-led impeachment inquiry over unfounded allegations of corruption, amid record-low approval ratings.

In Eagle Pass, House Speaker Mike Johnson called on Biden to reinstate the abandoned Trump-era "remain in Mexico" policy keeping asylum seekers out of the country until their court appearances.

Still, the Biden administration has responded by pushing policies to fast-track border wall construction, criminalize asylum, and boost militarization of the US border and surrounding communities.

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But Johnson has said he won't accept anything less than the hardline border and immigration bill passed last year by House Republicans, a non-starter in the Senate.

Far-right Texas Governor Greg Abbott, meanwhile, has continued to send thousands of migrants to Democratic-led northern cities. He also signed a bill last month that would allow state police to arrest and deport migrants who cross illegally into the US from Mexico.

The Justice Department filed a suit against Texas on Wednesday, arguing that the bill known as SB4 is unconstitutional and only the federal government has the authority to regulate immigration.

Cover photo: SAUL LOEB / AFP

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