Texas Republican moves to impeach Homeland Security chief

Rep. Pat Fallon filed the resolution seeking to remove Alejandro Mayorkas from office over border security and more

“To make any progress at our southern border, he must go,” Rep. Pat Fallon, above, said of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
“To make any progress at our southern border, he must go,” Rep. Pat Fallon, above, said of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted January 10, 2023 at 5:41pm

A House Republican from Texas has filed articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, as Republicans ramp up oversight of the Biden administration’s border policies.

Rep. Pat Fallon, a second-term congressman whose district is near Dallas, filed the resolution Monday, after which it was referred to the Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

California Republican Kevin McCarthy, now speaker of the House, used a November visit to the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas to call on Mayorkas to resign and warned that if he did not, House Republicans would “investigate” whether to start impeachment proceedings. Mayorkas has said he would not resign.

The resolution from Fallon points to recent increases in migration to the southwest border and accuses Mayorkas of failing to enforce federal immigration laws and threatening U.S. national security.

Specifically, the impeachment resolution slams the Homeland Security chief for ending — or attempting to end — several Trump-era immigration policies. That includes terminating border wall construction contracts and halting a program requiring migrants to wait in Mexico while their immigration proceedings continue.

“Secretary Mayorkas has violated the law and gravely endangered the national security of the United States through these actions,” the resolution states.

The resolution further accuses Mayorkas of perjuring himself before Congress, including in testimony in which the secretary claimed the department does have operational control over the border.

Fallon also claimed Mayorkas “slandered” Border Patrol agents when he called images of agents on horseback using reins to corral Haitian migrants “horrifying.”

Fallon said through a spokesperson Tuesday that Mayorkas “has willfully abdicated his duties as Secretary of Homeland Security and actively misled Congress and the American people.”

“It is unfortunate that we have gotten to this point, but it is necessary. Secretary Mayorkas’ potential impeachment is not an accident,” Fallon said. “To make any progress at our southern border, he must go.”

Another effort

During the previous congressional session, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., introduced impeachment articles against Mayorkas in 2021 that eventually got the backing of nearly three dozen other House Republicans, including Fallon. But the effort went nowhere in the Democrat-controlled House.

Now, with Republicans in control of the chamber, impeachment proceedings are more likely to be launched. The House could vote by simple majority to send impeachment articles to the Senate.

However, the two-thirds of the Senate would need to vote to convict Mayorkas for him to be removed from office — which is unlikely, because Democrats control the chamber.

Biggs said Tuesday he will introduce his own updated impeachment resolution “shortly.” He said he was not involved with Fallon’s filing but that he doesn’t “have a problem with it.”

Fallon's spokesperson said Fallon had planned to introduce the impeachment articles at the start of the 118th Congress “for quite some time.”

Just days after electing a speaker, House Republicans have made clear they plan to use their time in control of the House to heighten oversight over border security issues.

On Tuesday morning, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., told reporters the Judiciary Committee will have “a hearing on this open border, at the border.”

Rep. Mark E. Green, R-Tenn., who will lead the House Homeland Security committee, has said border security will be his “top priority.”

Caroline Coudriet contributed to this report.