Why Mayorkas Deserves A Senate Impeachment Trial


April 18, 2024

Alejandro Mayorkas Has Earned His Looming Impeachment

By Dale Wilcox

There is no person more responsible for the ongoing debacle at the U.S. southern border than Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, but the U.S. Senate appears ready to help him evade accountability.

In making Mayorkas just the second cabinet official in U.S. history to be impeached, the House of Representatives charged the embattled secretary with two high crimes and misdemeanors. The first article of impeachment against Mayorkas was for Willful and Systemic Refusal to Comply with the Law. The details of Mayorkas’ conduct overwhelmingly supports this charge. Ever since taking office, Mayorkas has brazenly ignored the Immigration and Nationality Act, which requires the federal government to detain illegal aliens pending removal proceedings. Just months after he was confirmed by the Senate, Mayorkas announced new enforcement guidelines that essentially halted deportations of illegal aliens unless they were deemed a threat to national security or public safety.

“The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen will not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them,” the guidelines said.

However, the fact that a foreign national is in the country illegally not only provides the government a basis to remove them, but under the clear letter of the law, it requires them to. That DHS announced publicly it wouldn’t enforce this law is the main reason why a record number of illegal aliens have crossed the border every year under this administration’s watch.

This is to say nothing of other destructive policies Mayorkas has championed, including terminating construction of the wall at the southern border, ending the wildly successful Remain-in-Mexico program, and implementing catch-and-release. Mayorkas’ defenders will claim that he is just exercising prosecutorial discretion by refusing to remove those in the country illegally, but the law is simply not on their side. Mayorkas’ anti-enforcement agenda is not a form of prosecutorial discretion, but an executive amnesty that has sent an unmistakable message throughout the world that anyone who wishes to come here can do so illegally and be allowed to stay, so long as Mayorkas doesn’t deem them a national security threat.

The second article of impeachment Mayorkas has been charged with is Breach of Public Trust. This article is broader, but still very difficult to dispute. There is no doubt that Mayorkas’ lack of transparency, his smug performances during Capitol Hill hearings, and his open disdain for any sort of restriction on mass migration has gravely damaged DHS as an institution and violated the public trust. If the impeachment managers are able to present their case in the Senate, they will almost certainly be able to prove—if not to Senators, at least to the American people—that Mayorkas is guilty on both counts. But, they may not even get that opportunity.

When a cabinet member brazenly thumbs his nose at federal law the way Mayorkas has, impeachment is the best constitutional remedy Congress has to defend not just the American people, but itself as an institution, and the laws it was duly elected to pass.

The Senate is expected to move to dismiss the charges against Mayorkas before a trial, and they appear to have the votes to do so. To quickly dismiss these charges would not only violate historical precedent, but deny the American people a fair accounting of the administration’s dereliction of duty, which has irreparably damaged the sovereignty and security of the U.S. It also allows Mayorkas to avoid having to defend himself against these damning charges.

Impeachment is a very serious process that should never be weaponized politically, but the founding fathers put it in the Constitution for a reason. When a cabinet member brazenly thumbs his nose at federal law the way Mayorkas has, impeachment is the best constitutional remedy Congress has to defend not just the American people, but itself as an institution, and the laws it was duly elected to pass.

Alejandro Mayorkas has disregarded long-standing federal immigration law since his first day in office. In doing so, he has facilitated the arrival of a record number of illegal aliens, leading to the preventable deaths of American citizens, and setting the stage for another 9/11-style national security calamity. There has never been a greater betrayal by a president or cabinet official of their oath of office in American history. If Mayorkas’ actions and inactions are not impeachable, then it’s hard to imagine what is.

The Senate owes it to the American people to hold a trial, allow impeachment managers to present their case, and weigh the evidence put forward. If the Senate does its duty and removes politics from the equation, it will surely find that Mayorkas is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, and that he should be removed from office.

Dale Wilcox is executive director and general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

Also published at AMAC, April 18, 2024.

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