Senate Rejects Mayorkas Removal Effort

The United States Senate rejected an effort to remove Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this week after a successful push to impeach him in February for his actions surrounding the southern border. The impeachment represented the first one of its type against a Cabinet official in more than a century.

The Senate voted Wednesday to dismiss the charges against Mayorkas following an effort from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). The senator said that he wanted to “address this issue as expeditiously as possible.”

“Impeachment should never be used to settle a policy disagreement,” he said. “That would set a horrible precedent for the Congress.”

The House’s articles of impeachment accused Mayorkas of having “repeatedly violated laws enacted by Congress regarding immigration and border security. In large part because of his unlawful conduct, millions of aliens have illegally entered the United States on an annual basis with many unlawfully remaining in the United States.”

The articles called his “refusal to obey the law” an “offense against the separation of powers” and that it “threatens our national security and has had a dire impact on communities across the country.”

The impeachment of Mayorkas was a top priority of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA).

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) argued that the Senate “put on political theatre in Washington to shut down the Mayorkas impeachment trial and hide from the border crisis, real American families are being torn apart by vicious crimes and deadly drugs because of Biden and Mayorkas’ failure to secure our homeland.”

The dismissal of the charges against the DHS secretary did not stop the criticism from congressional Republicans. For many in Congress, Mayorkas represents what they see as a wider failure at the border by the Biden administration.

Mayorkas denied any wrongdoing during his time as DHS secretary.

Since President Joe Biden took office in 2021 an estimated seven million illegal aliens have crossed into the country. This includes more than three million who attempted to cross last year, which set a new record. In December 2023 there were more than 300,000 border encounters, which was the highest monthly total on record.