xi's moments
Home | Americas

House panel looks to impeach Homeland Security secretary

By HENG WEILI in New York | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-01-31 11:31

Alejandro Mayorkas. [Photo/Agencies]

A US House of Representatives panel pushed ahead on Tuesday in an attempt to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of migration at the country's southwestern border.

The Republican-led House Homeland Security Committee is considering two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, alleging that his policies encouraged illegal immigration and that he violated the public trust by making false statements to Congress, Reuters reported.

"He has willfully and systematically refused to comply with the laws passed by Congress and breached the trust of Congress and the American people," Representative Mark Green of Tennessee, the committee chairman, said at the start of the hearing. "The results have been catastrophic and have endangered the lives and livelihoods of all Americans."

Green said that "at every turn, our Democrat colleagues have met these oversight efforts with mockery".

The only time the House impeached a Cabinet member was in 1876, when President Ulysses S. Grant's secretary of war William Belknap was accused of corruption. The Senate acquitted him.

If the House were to impeach Mayorkas, a two-thirds vote would be required in the Senate for his removal, unlikely because Democrats control the Senate.

"I assure you that your false accusations do not rattle me," Mayorkas wrote in a defiant letter to the panel's chairman Tuesday. "We need a legislative solution and only Congress can provide it."

US President Joe Biden, in comments to reporters at the White House on Tuesday before he left for a campaign event in Florida said: "I've done all I can do. ... Give me the Border Patrol, give me the judges, give me the people who can stop this and make it work right."

The impeachment articles allege that Mayorkas "willfully and systematically refused to comply with Federal immigration laws" amid a record surge of migrants at the US-Mexico border, and that he has "breached the public trust" by telling Congress that the border is secure.

A committee vote against Mayorkas would send the articles to the full House for a vote, possibly next week.

While the politics of immigration are debated in Washington, Texas has clashed with the federal government over migration.

In December, a record 302,000 migrants entered the US through Mexico, including about 250,000 between ports of entry, according to Customs and Border Protection data.

The US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Jan 22 that federal Border Patrol agents could remove razor wire and other barriers put up by Texas. The state's governor Greg Abbott has said that Texas is facing an "invasion".

In a letter to Biden and Mayorkas, 26 Republican state attorneys general backed Texas' efforts to secure its border: "We are a nation of laws. And without a border, we would quickly cease to be a nation at all."

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349