Saturday, March 2, 2024

‘Baseless’: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas knocks Republican impeachment push

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Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas hit back at House Republicans as GOP lawmakers fight to impeach him over his handling of the southern border.

Asked by NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Kristen Welker how he responds to allegations that he’s “willfully” not following the nation’s immigration laws, Mayorkas on Sunday called the accusations “baseless.”  

“That’s why I really am not distracted by them and focused on the work of the Department of Homeland Security. I’m inspired every single day by the remarkable work that 260,000 men and women in our department perform on behalf of the American public,” Mayorkas said.

The House last week voted on two articles of impeachment accusing Mayorkas of a “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and a “breach of public trust.” The push failed after a handful of Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in voting against it.  

The House is expected to vote on the articles of impeachment again this week, with Republicans counting on Rep. Steve Scalise returning to Washington. The Louisiana Republican didn’t vote on the impeachment effort last week because he was undergoing cancer care.

Mayorkas on Sunday acknowledged that the nation’s southern border constitutes a “crisis,” but he also called on Congress to pass legislation “to fix what everyone agrees is a broken immigration system.” 

The Homeland Security secretary knocked senators for blocking a sweeping border agreement last week that was negotiated among a group of bipartisan lawmakers for months.  

The upper chamber on Wednesday voted against the $118 billion package that would have provided funding for foreign aid and revamped America’s border and immigration policies. The reforms would have, among other things, tightened asylum laws and created a new mechanism to shut down the border if illegal crossings reached a certain threshold. 

“A bipartisan group of senators have now presented us with the tools and resources we need, a bipartisan group, and yet Congress killed it before even reading it,” Mayorkas said.

Former President Donald Trump railed against the bill well before it was released, amping up pressure on congressional conservatives to reject it. When it finally came out last week, around half of Republicans said they opposed it within 24 hours. 

Contributing: Riley Beggin and Ken Tran

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