House Republicans kick off efforts to impeach DHS Secretary over handling of southern border

WASHINGTON D.C. — House Republicans formally kicked off their efforts to impeach the head of the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday over criticism of how he has handled the surge of migrants and the trafficking of illegal drugs at the southern border.

The House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing where GOP lawmakers tried to prove DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is derelict in his duty.

“For the sake of our Homeland Security and the well-being of the people of the United States, Secretary Mayorkas must be held accountable,” said Chairman Rep. Mark Green (R-TN).

Democrats, meanwhile, argued it was a baseless political stunt.

“This is not a legitimate impeachment,” said Ranking Member Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS). “Republicans want to throw political red meat to their base and keep their campaign cash coming.”

Testimony largely came from critics of Mayorkas.

State Attorneys General testified about the impact of the surge of migrants and the rise in fentanyl on all states, not just ones along the border.

“The southern border certainly presents a difficult challenge for any administration, but Secretary Mayorkas and the Biden administration have absolutely poured gasoline on this fire,” said Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen.

“We don’t deserve to have our communities flooded with illegal drugs that are smuggled across an unsecure border,” said Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond.

But a law expert cautioned while lawmakers may disagree over policy decisions, the bar for impeaching a cabinet member is very high.

“It is not supposed to be a routine tool to solve ordinary public policy debates, even very passionate ones,” said Frank Bowman III with the University of Missouri School of Law. “If members of this committee disapprove of the Biden administration’s border policies, the Constitution gives this Congress a wealth of legislative powers to change them. Impeachment is not one of those powers.”

The White House blasted efforts to impeach Biden administration cabinet members on Wednesday.

“That is a waste of time,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “Political stunts. Baseless accusations.”

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