US House Votes To Impeach Homeland Security Chief Over Border Fails.

Zachary Hupp/U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Mayorkas is himself an immigrant, having been born in Cuba and arrived in the US as a child.
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The United States House of Representatives has voted by a small majority to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, making him the first cabinet member to face an impeachment trial in nearly 150 years.

The first time this happened was almost 150 years ago when William Belknap, President Ulysses Grant’s Secretary of War, found himself caught up in a brazen kickback scheme at a time of few regulations and many temptations.

Many Republicans blame Mr Mayorkas for an unprecedented influx of migrants at the US-Mexico border.

The Republican-led chamber voted 214 to 213 for the measure, after the first attempt failed last week.

The issue now heads to the Democratic-led Senate, where it is likely to fail.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday called the vote a “blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship” and a “political stunt”.

Opponents of Mr Mayorkas accused him of not living up to his oath to “well and faithfully discharge the duties” of his office by failing to do more to secure the border. He is not charged with any other specific crime.

The vote was largely divided along party lines, with 210 Democrats voting against the impeachment, along with three Republican representatives: Tom McClintock of California, Ken Buck of Colorado and Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin.

 

The three defectors also voted against the first attempt to impeach Mr Mayorkas, saying that impeaching someone who had not committed a serious crime would weaken the constitutional penalty and do little to address the crisis at the border.

More than 6.3 million migrants have entered the US illegally since 2021, making immigration a divisive and politically contentious issue ahead of the November election.

Mayorkas is himself an immigrant. He was born in Havana, Cuba. Shortly after the Cuban Revolution, his family fled to Florida and later settled in California.

The issue is a major focus of Donald Trump’s campaign to oust Mr Biden from office.

In a statement released shortly after the vote, Mr Biden defended Mr Mayorkas, calling him “an honourable public servant”.

“He has upheld the rule of law faithfully and has demonstrated a deep commitment to the values that make our nation great,” the president said.

Source: BBC News.
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