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House sends 2 articles vs Mayorkas to Senate

By HENG WEILI in New York | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-04-17 10:08

US House impeachment managers deliver articles of impeachment for US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the US Senate at the US Capitol on April 16, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

The US House of Representatives delivered two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate on Tuesday, saying he has failed to enforce immigration and border security laws.

The proceedings will begin on Wednesday, when senators will be sworn in as jurors. The Senate will then issue a summons to Mayorkas to inform him of the charges and ask for a written replay. He will not have to appear.

While the Senate is obligated to hold a trial under the rules of impeachment once the charges are walked across the Capitol, Democrats are expected to try to dismiss or table the charges later this week before the full arguments start.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said he wants to "address this issue as expeditiously as possible".

"Impeachment should never be used to settle a policy disagreement," Schumer said. "That would set a horrible precedent for the Congress."

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said he would "strenuously oppose" any attempt to table the articles.

"Never before has the Senate agreed to a motion to table articles of impeachment," he said on the Senate floor. "It would be beneath the Senate's dignity to shrug off our clear responsibility."

The articles were passed by one vote on Feb 13 in the House, where the GOP has a slim majority, but their delivery was delayed until after lawmakers finished the appropriations process.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, said, "If he (Schumer) cares about the Constitution and ending the devastation caused by Biden's border catastrophe, Senator Schumer will quickly schedule a full public trial and hear the arguments put forth by our impeachment managers."

"Congressional Republicans should stop wasting time with unfounded attacks, and instead do their job by passing bipartisan legislation to properly fund the Department's vital national security missions and finally fix our broken immigration system," a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson said in a statement.

The 20-page impeachment document includes Article 1, titled "Willful and Systemic Refusal to Comply With the Law", and Article 2, "Breach of Public Trust".

"In large part because of his unlawful conduct, millions of aliens have illegally entered the United States on an annual basis with many unlawfully remaining in the United States," Article 1 states.

The article also states that Mayorkas' inaction "has significantly contributed to unprecedented levels of illegal entrants, the increased control of the Southwest border by drug cartels, and the imposition of enormous costs on States and localities affected by the influx of aliens".

Among the charges in Article 2 is that Mayorkas "knowingly made false statements to Congress that the border is 'secure', that the border is 'no less secure than it was previously', that the border is 'closed' and that DHS has 'operational control' of the border".

A vote of two-thirds (67 or more) in the 100-member Senate is required for a conviction at an impeachment trial, and even if a trial were to be held, a conviction is unlikely. The current Senate breakdown is 49 Republicans, 48 Democrats and three independents, although the independents generally vote with the Democrats.

Agencies contributed to this story.


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