DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas AFP

As Congress returns to session after a two-week recess, so will partisan confrontation. And perhaps the issue that illustrates the current divisions the most is the handling of immigration.

Republicans and Democrats have reached a stalemate in their negotiations over a border security bill, with the former rejecting a proposal that would have allocated $15 billion to the issue.

But as laws and their enforcement stay stuck, Republicans will seek to move forward with another initiative: the impeachment of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of immigration through the southern border.

The Republican-controlled majority managed to impeach Mayorkas on February 13, following a failed attempt a few days before. The 214-213 vote recommended he be removed from his post for "willfully and systematically" refusing to enforce immigration laws and lying to Congress by saying the border was secure.

All Democrats and a few Republicans voted against the impeachment, arguing that the accusation amounted to a policy disagreement, rather than a high crime or misdemeanor.

The accusation's chances of making it through the Senate are slim to none, as it would need the support of two thirds of the chamber and Republicans don't have a simple majority.

Considering that no Democrats have signaled support for removing Mayorkas from office either, the dispute is now mainly focusing on the process to deal with the issue. While high-ranking Democrats and some Republicans have shown willingness to dismiss the charges right away, others are attempting to conduct a trial, even if the acquittal is all but guaranteed.

The Associated Press has explained that, if Democrats can muster a simple majority (that is 51 votes) !they can dismiss the trial outright or move to table the two articles (of impeachment) ending the House's effort and allowing the Senate to move on to other business."

To get to that number, all Democrats and the chamber's three independents would have to vote for the motion. They could also get Republicans to vote for it, but it's unclear whether they would join Democrats in that vote.

The outlet indicated that, even if Democrats can't dismiss the issue right away, they can also "hold a vote to create a trial committee that would investigate the charges." Precedents show that party leaders can recommend six senators and a chairperson to run that committee, which would then craft a final report and send it to the senate.

A trial is the last potential path the impeachment could take. In that case "senators would be forced to sit in their seats for the duration, maybe weeks, while the House impeachment managers and lawyers representing Mayorkas make their cases," AP recalled.

Even though a group of Republican senators sent a letter to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to help them force a full trial, others have signaled they don't think it's the best use of their time.

"I don't think we'll have two endless trials like we've had recently," said McConnell. He's not the only Republican showing reticence to the process. Senator Kevin Cramer said the articles were "dead on arrival" and the "dumbest exercise and use of time."

So has North Carolina's Thom Tillis, who has said that Mayorkas has not done his job well but that "there's a lot of time that goes into a thoughtful impeachment process, and a couple of hearings in a month, or month and a half doesn't seem like it fits that bill."

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