U.S. homeland security secretary impeached by Republican-held House

(Xinhua) 14:10, February 14, 2024

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- One week after a failed impeachment vote, the Republican-held U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, making him the first cabinet member to be impeached in nearly 150 years.

On Feb. 6, Mayorkas narrowly survived an impeachment vote in the House, with a vote tally of 214 to 216.

In the latest development, the lower chamber voted 214 to 213, with three Republicans defecting from their party to join Democrats to vote against the impeachment against the Biden administration's top border official.

Mayorkas was impeached for "willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law" in enforcing border policy and for breaching public trust.

Republican legislators claimed that Mayorkas has not fulfilled his duties. However, both the Department of Homeland Security and congressional Democrats have dismissed the endeavors to impeach Mayorkas as politically driven maneuvers.

Mia Ehrenberg, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement Tuesday that the impeachment was done "without a shred of evidence or legitimate Constitutional grounds."

Tom McClintock, one of the three Republicans who voted against the impeachment, previously argued that the Republicans' articles against Mayorkas stretched how the founders would define an impeachable offense, warning that Republicans would be setting a precedent that Democrats might use against them in the future.

Calling the impeachment effort "bad politics and bad policy," McClintock stressed that House Republicans were attempting to overstep boundaries by advocating for Mayorkas' removal from office for implementing President Joe Biden's border policies.

The impeachment vote came as Biden faces increasing pressure to address the surge in migrants from the nation's southern border, with demands coming not only from the typical Republican critics but also from Democratic mayors and governors across the country.

House Republicans have attempted to leverage Mayorkas' impeachment to address their concerns regarding Biden's border policies. However, the Republicans, in collaboration with Donald Trump, also played a role in killing a bipartisan agreement on border security and foreign aid.

Mayorkas wrote in a letter that "the problems with our broken and outdated immigration system are not new," calling on Congress to help provide a legislative solution to the "historically divisive issue."

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Kou Jie)


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