In a significant move, the House of Representatives voted against a Republican effort to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on charges related to his management of the immigration issue. Although Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a staunch conservative from Georgia, forced the vote through a procedural rule, her resolution was referred to committees for further consideration rather than being brought to a direct vote. It is important to note that impeaching a Cabinet official based on their policy decisions would be unprecedented.
During her floor speech, Greene accused Mayorkas of displaying conduct that is incompatible with US laws, pointing to the surge in illegal border crossings, influx of drugs, and his alleged support for open border policies. She argued that Mayorkas failed to fulfill his oath to defend and secure the country and uphold the Constitution. Despite the outcome of the vote, Greene expressed her intention to pursue another impeachment vote and believed that her colleagues would face pressure from voters to support it.
Prominent Republicans, including House GOP whip Tom Emmer and Rep. Tony Gonzales, have voiced their support for Greene’s resolution. Meanwhile, Mayorkas has maintained that his focus remains on securing the border and enforcing the law, stating that the House Majority has wasted time with baseless attacks. A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security echoed this sentiment, asserting Mayorkas’ commitment to keeping Americans safe.
However, Greene’s resolution drew criticism for labeling the influx of migrants as an “invasion.” Immigration advocates condemned her use of this term, claiming it was rooted in the racist “great replacement theory,” which alleges a conspiracy to diminish the influence of white people in society.
This renewed push for impeachment poses a challenge for House Speaker Mike Johnson, who is already grappling with delicate negotiations over government funding legislation to prevent a federal shutdown. While Johnson has expressed belief in Mayorkas’ alleged “impeachable offenses,” he is mindful of the limited time and resources available. Notably, only one US cabinet official, Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876, has ever been impeached, and that was due to findings of kickback payments received during the administration of government contracts.