Political trial vs. Alejandro Mayorkas: Who is the Secretary of Security and what is he accused of?

The Lower House of the United States approved this Tuesday to submit to impeachment to the Secretary of National Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, for his management of the border with Mexico.

After the failed vote on February 6, that House with a Republican majority, this time gave its approval to that process by 214 votes in favor and 213 against.

Who is Alejandro Mayorkas?

Alejandro Mayorkas has been the Secretary of Homeland Security of the United States during the years of President Joe Biden’s administration. In 2021 she became the first person of Latino and immigrant descent to hold this position.

The official is originally from Havana, Cuba, but grew up in Los Angeles, California. In 1999, he was a federal prosecutor for the Court in California during Bill Clinton’s term. He was also part of the Barack Obama administration, serving as director of Citizenship and Immigration Services (2009 to 2013). Additionally, from 2013 to 2016, he served as Undersecretary of Homeland Security and helped with DACA, a program that supports migrants who came to the United States as children.

He is now in charge of National Security and, therefore, of the immigration issues in the US.

What is the immigration situation in the US under Mayorkas?

Migrants have long crossed the southern border of the United States in search of a new life, but not at current levels. The Arrests for illegal border crossings from Mexico reached an all-time high Last December. During fiscal year 2022, the Border Patrol recorded 2.2 million encounters with people crossing the border illegally. You have to go back several decades to find comparable figures.

Statistics, however, are not always a perfect parameter, and they can change. The figures recorded in the 1990s and 2000s are considered to be far below the actual numbers, because migrants sought to evade authorities while entering the country. After an unprecedented December, arrest numbers fell by 50 percent in the first month of this year.

Decades ago, the average migrant trying to enter the United States was an adult Mexican man who came looking for work, and tried to evade Border Patrol agents. This dynamic has changed dramatically. Now migrants continue arriving from Central and South America, but they also come from much further away: China, Afghanistan and Mauritania, to name a few countries. And they often seek out Border Patrol agents, seeking protection in the United States.

These numbers have exceeded the capabilities of border agents, and caused temporary closures of border crossings so that authorities can process migrants.

They have also had repercussions far from the border. Migrants arriving in cities such as Chicago, New York, Boston and Denver have overwhelmed services there, prompting Democratic officials to pressure the federal government to take action.

What is Secretary Mayorkas accused of and why will there be an impeachment trial against him?

Mayorkashead of immigration, is accused of “violation of public trust” and “systematic and deliberate refusal to comply with the law,” but the Senate, under Democratic control, has the last word.

Republican Congressmen Ken Buck, Mike Gallagher and Tom McClintock voted against the resolution, in addition to the entire democratic caucus In block.

Also part of the vote was Republican Congressman Steve Scalise, who did not attend last week’s session due to health problems and this time he was present at the plenary session.

The minimal approval this Tuesday comes after a week ago the Republicans, who are the majority in the House, did not gather enough votes to approve the impeachment trial against Mayorkas, with a surprising result of 214 votes in favor and 216 in favor. against.

It’s about the first time that the Lower House has sent a Government secretary to impeachment in almost 150 years. To date, the only time it has occurred was in 1876, when the then Secretary of War, William Belknap, was impeached but later acquitted by the Senate.

After tonight’s vote, the president of the United States, Joe Bidenlamented the “blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship that has targeted an honorable public servant to play small political games.”

He alluded to last week’s failed vote against Mayorkas, a Cuban immigrant who came to the United States with his family as a political refugee and has a “decorated career” of more than two decades of public service.

“Republicans with genuine concerns about the border should want Congress to provide more border resources and stronger border security,” Biden added.

For his part, the president of the Lower House, Republican Mike Johnson, stated that from the first day in office Mayorkas has willfully and consistently refused to comply with federal immigration“fueling the worst border catastrophe in the history of the United States,” as confirmed by a congressional committee investigation.

In turn, the congressional minority leader, Democrat Kartherine Clark, pointed out that today’s “shameful vote” reflects that House Republicans “have never cared about border security, only cowardly political games.” .

“They refuse to engage with the Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats on common-sense immigration solutions. “They are only pushing this impeachment to undermine bipartisan action, foment chaos, and bolster Donald Trump,” he added.

Along the same lines, the Senate majority leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer, said that the only reason for this impeachment trial is for the president, or ‘speaker’, of the House, Mike Johnson, to “further appease the Donald Trump.”

He impeachment of Mayorkas It is unlikely to succeed, given that after today’s vote the impeachment passes to the Senate, where two-thirds of the votes are required and the Democrats hold the majority.

In the Upper House, a simple majority is even enough for the impeachment trial to not even be put to a vote, a scenario already contemplated by some Democratic senators.

With information from AP.