DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas AFP

House Republicans formalized on Sunday impeachment articles against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, over what they claim are unlawful measures regarding immigration.

The initiative will now head to a committee vote, which will take place on Tuesday. If approved, it will get closer to a floor vote in the House.

Concretely, Mayorkas is facing two articles of impeachment. The first claims he displayed a "willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law," and the second that he breached public trust by having "knowingly made false statements, and knowingly obstructed lawful oversight of the Department of Homeland Security."

At the center of the efforts is the implementation of a series of family reunification parole programs, which allowed some foreign nationals to wait in the U.S. for immigration visas. The allegation says Mayorkas should have used those resources to detain people crossing the border illegally.

The second article argues that Mayorkas knowingly made false statements to Congress by saying that the border was secure and that he obstructed oversight.

"These articles lay out a clear, compelling, and irrefutable case for Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' impeachment," said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, a Republican from Tennessee, in a statement.

The DHS, on its end, answered by saying that Republicans "undermined efforts to achieve bipartisan solutions and ignored the facts, legal scholars and experts, and even the Constitution itself in their quest to baselessly impeach Secretary Mayorkas."

Moreover, it argued that the department has stuck to "the mandatory detention requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act to the maximum extent possible," but a "standard requiring 100% detention would mean that Congress should have impeached every DHS Secretary since the Department was founded."

Migrants near the US southern border
Migration to the US keeps breaking records AFP

House Democrats have also criticized the process, with Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the party's highest ranking member on the Homeland Security Committee, saying that "what is glaringly missing from these articles is any real charge or even a shred of evidence of high crimes or misdemeanors — the Constitutional standard for impeachment."

"That should come as no surprise because Republicans' so-called 'investigation' of Secretary Mayorkas has been a remarkably fact-free affair," he added.

This is the latest of several clashes between Democrats and Republicans over immigration and border security. On Friday, Biden called on the Congress to approve a bipartisan proposal after conversation were shaken up by former president Donald Trump's calls for them to be tanked.

"What's been negotiated would —if passed into law— be the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we've ever had in our country," Biden said on Friday. "It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law."

In response to Biden's statement, former President Trump said on his social network Truth: "A bad border deal is far worse than no border deal!" In a different posting on Truth, Trump said: "Just 3 years ago we had the strongest and safest Border in U.S. History. Today we have a catastrophe waiting to happen," and resorted to his usual claims that "terrorists are pouring in, unchecked from all over the world."

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