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WASHINGTON, Nov 9 (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a hardline Republican, moved on Thursday to force a House of Representatives vote to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, saying the administration has failed to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.
Greene accused Mayorkas, an appointee of Democratic President Joe Biden, of violating his oath of office by failing to constrain the record numbers of migrants arriving at the border.
“This isn’t just a southern border issue, it’s affecting our whole country and we have to do something about it,” Greene said, after introducing a motion that the Republican-led House will need to vote on in the next two days it is in session.
Since Biden took office in 2021, U.S. border agents have made more than 5 million arrests of migrants making irregular crossings – that is, not through a controlled border station – over the U.S.-Mexico border. Many are fleeing economic and political turmoil in Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Republicans fault Biden and Mayorkas – Biden’s top border official – for rolling back restrictive policies put in place by former President Donald Trump, a Republican.
Both Biden and Trump are seeking another term in office in 2024, with Trump the leading candidate for the Republican nomination.
In response to the impeachment motion, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson said lawmakers should stop “their reckless impeachment charades and attacks on law enforcement” and instead “deliver desperately needed reforms for our broken immigration system.”
The spokesperson pointed out that Mayorkas had testified before congressional committees eight times this year and said policy disagreements were not a basis for impeachment.
Greene introduced the motion as privileged, meaning the House must take it up within two legislative days, although it could be delayed with procedural votes such as sending it to a committee for review.
Greene told reporters that she had been unable to reach Republican Speaker Mike Johnson on Thursday morning about introducing the articles of impeachment.
Even if Mayorkas is impeached in the House, the effort is almost certain to fail in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Reporting by Moira Warburton and Ted Hesson in Washington; Editing by Caitlin Webber, Matthew Lewis and Rod Nickel
Ted Hesson is an immigration reporter for Reuters, based in Washington, D.C. His work focuses on the policy and politics of immigration, asylum and border security. Prior to joining Reuters in 2019, Ted worked for the news outlet POLITICO, where he also covered immigration. His articles have appeared in POLITICO Magazine, The Atlantic and VICE News, among other publications. Ted holds a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and bachelor’s degree from Boston College.