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McCarthy, Top Republican in the House, threatens to impeach the head of Homeland Security
McCarthy, Top Republican: Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the United States House of Representatives, called on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign on Tuesday, threatening to impeach him if Republicans gain control of the House next year.
McCarthy, who hopes to be elected as House Speaker when the new Congress is sworn in in January, added that his colleagues will hold congressional hearings at the U.S.-Mexico border after taking control of the chamber, in what he described as an effort to force Democrats to see conditions there first-hand.
Republicans have criticized President Joe Biden for record numbers of migrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border during his presidency, saying Biden’s more lenient policies have encouraged more crossers. “Our country may never recover from Secretary Mayorkas’ dereliction of duty,” McCarthy told reporters after meeting with border officials in El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday. “That is why I am calling on the secretary to resign today.”
“If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign,” he said, “House Republicans will investigate every order, every action, and every failure to determine whether we can begin an impeachment inquiry.” DHS spokesperson Marsha Espinosa rejected McCarthy’s call. “Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of this Department, support its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American people,” Espinosa said. “He has no plans to resign.”
Republicans have held a series of press conferences since winning a narrow House majority in this month’s midterm elections to lay out their priorities for the next two years. They warned last week that Biden, a Democrat, and his son, Hunter, would be top targets.
Democrats will maintain their Senate majority for the next two years. While the House has the authority to initiate impeachment proceedings, only the Senate has the authority to convict an impeachment target, and senators from Biden’s party are unlikely to join in the removal of a member of his administration from office.
Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee informed Mayorkas last week that the panel expects to call 11 Department of Homeland Security employees, including Mayorkas, to testify. Mayorkas, 62, has been a frequent target of Republican lawmakers, including some who have previously called for his resignation and impeachment as Biden’s top border official.
When he was confirmed in February 2021, he became the first Latino and foreign-born Homeland Security chief. He previously served as the department’s deputy secretary during former President Barack Obama’s administration.
According to Biden administration officials, increased migration is a hemispheric phenomenon that extends beyond the US-Mexico border, and they are working to create a more orderly immigration system.
A federal judge in the United States ruled last week that a pandemic-era order barring migrants at the border was unconstitutional, but he postponed its termination until December 21. However, late Monday, a group of states with Republican attorneys general moved to intervene in the case and overturn the ruling. Chris Magnus, a former commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, resigned earlier this month after saying he was pressured by Mayorkas to resign or be fired.