House Republicans took a major step toward impeaching Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Early Wednesday morning, the House Homeland Security Committee voted 18 to 15 to advance two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas over the Biden administration’s handling of immigration at the Southern Border.
The first of two impeachment articles advanced by the committee accuses the secretary of a “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” for failing to detain all migrants not clearly allowed in the country, and instead creating an illegal “catch and release” scheme.
The second article accuses Mayorkas of “breach of public trust” over various alleged false statements he made to Congress, including saying that the border is “closed” and that DHS properly vetted Afghans airlifted to the U.S. after the Taliban takeover of that country.
Mayorkas’ “actions created this unprecedented crisis, turning every state into a border state. As a result, thousands of Americans have lost their lives and our nation is experiencing a historic national security, public safety, and humanitarian catastrophe,” said House Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (R–Tenn.) in a statement.
The impeachment of a cabinet secretary is a rare event. It’s only happened once before in 1876. Republicans argue the move is justified by Mayorkas’ lawlessness, which has in turn allowed crime and drugs to surge across the border.
Mayorkas called Republicans’ accusations “baseless and inaccurate” in a letter to Green, reports Politico, which cited his department’s enforcement activities.
Critics of the Republicans’ impeachment efforts note that the requirement to detain all arguably illegal hasn’t been upheld by any administration and that the articles themselves are sloppily drafted.
The Cato Institute’s David Bier noted in a blog post earlier this month that the Biden administration has deported a higher share of border crossers than the Trump administration. Trump’s increased detention of migrants did not result in more removals.
Mayorkas’ impeachment articles could make it to the House floor by next week. Republicans’ thin majority will necessitate near-unanimous GOP support to advance impeachment to the Senate, where any conviction is less likely.
The Senate, meanwhile, is awkwardly working on a bipartisan immigration deal to address many of the issues raised by the Mayorkas impeachment efforts.
The Biden administration has reportedly asked for an additional $14 billion to expand federal capacity to detain and deport more immigrants. The president has also called for more restrictions on migrants’ ability to claim asylum.
“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,” said President Joe Biden in a Friday Statement. The deal would also increase the number of available visas by 250,000 reports The New York Times.
Support for the Senate immigration bill is waning. Several Republican senators have come out against it. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R–La.) has said it’s a “nonstarter” in the House.
Bier argued in a New York Times essay yesterday that chaos at the southern border will only be solved through increasing avenues for legal immigration. But Republicans’ opposition to the Senate border bill is based, in part, on its failure to further limit legal immigration.
Former President Donald Trump has urged Congressional Republicans to oppose any immigration deal as well, promising to “fight it all the way.” Trump reportedly thinks sinking an immigration deal will help him in the increasingly inevitable rematch between him and Biden in the 2024 presidential election.
The former president will need all the reelection help he can get given the Democrats’ looming deployment of their ultimate weapon: Taylor Swift.
The more enthusiastic corners of conservative media are raising alarm about a potential Taylor Swift psychological operation (PSYOP). A rising chorus of MAGA influencers are arguing that the admittedly inexplicable popularity of Swift is really a sinister federal plot to throw the 2024 election to President Joe Biden.
Fox News Host Jesse Watters kicked things off earlier this month when he ran a segment arguing that Swift was a possible, possibly unwitting, Department of Defense (DOD) asset who was being used to activate Democratic voters.
Swift’s headline-grabbing relationship with Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce, whose team will play in the Super Bowl next month, is just more evidence for the conspiracy theory.
Former GOP presidential candidate and Trump supporter Vivek Ramaswamy intimated on Twitter that the Super Bowl might even be rigged in the Chiefs’ favor to create maximum value for a Swift-Kelce endorsement of Biden-Harris.
Swift endorsed Biden in 2020, so another Democratic endorsement from her wouldn’t be a huge shock. Since so many of Trump’s most ardent fans contend he won the last election, one wonders what exactly they’re worried about.
The conspiracy theorizing about Swift does raise the question; if Democrats and the DOD are so good at manufacturing popular appeal, why not cut out the middle woman and directly PSYOP America into thinking Biden is a pop icon in his own right?
Scenes from the DMV:
The DMV’s most famous landmark might soon fall prey to redevelopment. No, I’m talking about the Lincoln Memorial or anything like that. I’m referring to Arlington Temple United Methodist Church just across the river from the District in Rosslyn, Virginia.
The church sits improbably on top of a working gas station, a delightful bit of urban mixed-use development, built in 1971. The church-gas station combo will soon give way to a large mixed-use development, with apartments, retail, and, mercifully, another church and another gas station.
It’s obviously sad to see such a quirky building disappear. Better to be an adult about it and accept the change than go around trying to use the legal process to stop its demolition over the wishes of the property owner.
- Pandemic learning loss persists.
- Biden cites some timeless wisdom from learned sage Elmo. Do you believe Sesame Street is government propaganda now?