September 23, 2023


The Division of Homeland Safety is bringing on a personal legislation agency to assist with potential impeachment proceedings towards Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, in response to three sources acquainted with the matter.

Home Republicans have been transferring to construct a case towards Mayorkas as they take into account launching uncommon impeachment proceedings towards a Cupboard secretary.

“The Division of Homeland Safety has retained outdoors counsel to assist make sure the Division’s important mission isn’t interrupted by the unprecedented, unjustified, and partisan impeachment efforts by some Members of Congress, who’ve already taken steps to provoke proceedings,” a Homeland Safety spokesperson mentioned.

“DHS will proceed prioritizing its work to guard our nation from terrorism, reply to pure disasters, and safe our borders whereas responding appropriately to the over 70 Congressional committees and subcommittees which have oversight of DHS,” the spokesperson mentioned.

The legislation agency is Debevoise & Plimpton, in response to one supply. Whereas the Division of Homeland Safety Workplace of Normal Counsel has numerous attorneys to take care of issues, together with immigration and cybersecurity, the surface agency is being introduced in on a authorities contract and solely be utilized to the extent it’s wanted all through the method, one other supply mentioned.

Debevoise & Plimpton declined to remark.

It’s exceedingly uncommon for a Cupboard secretary to be impeached, one thing that has solely occurred as soon as in US historical past – when William Belknap, the secretary of battle, was impeached by the Home earlier than being acquitted by the Senate in 1876.

Republican lawmakers have argued that Mayorkas’ claims of getting operational management of the border are unfounded and that the report arrests mark a dereliction of responsibility – two themes which have come up repeatedly in congressional hearings and have been cited as purpose to question the DHS secretary.

Over latest weeks, key committee chairman already held two congressional hearings over the Biden administration’s dealing with of the US-Mexico border. Earlier this month, the Home Judiciary Committee, which might have jurisdiction over an impeachment decision, held its first border-related listening to.

“These numbers clarify that the Biden administration doesn’t have operational management of the border,” Home Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan mentioned throughout a February listening to. “Month after month after month, we’ve got set data for migrants coming into the nation and albeit, I feel it’s intentional.”

Mayorkas has beforehand mentioned his division will cooperate with committees which might be conducting oversight. Requested by reporters whether or not launching impeachment proceedings towards the secretary was private, Mayorkas mentioned: “If any individual else was on this place do you assume that vitriol can be much less? I don’t take it personally. I take my work personally.”

The Biden administration faces unprecedented motion throughout the Western hemisphere that has contributed to a surge of migrants on the border, together with extra individuals from totally different nations, resembling Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. The US is basically barred from deporting migrants to Cuba and Venezuela, presenting a novel set of challenges for DHS.

US border authorities encountered migrants greater than 2.3 million instances alongside the US-Mexico border in fiscal 12 months 2022, in response to US Customs and Border Safety knowledge. Of these, greater than 1 million migrants had been turned away on the border.

In early January, the Biden administration expanded a humanitarian parole program to incorporate Haitians, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans and Cubans to supply a authorized pathway for them to enter the US as an alternative of crossing the border. The administration additionally made these nationalities eligible for Title 42, which means they’ll now be turned away by authorities in the event that they don’t apply for this system.

Since then, there was a big decline in migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela crossing the US-Mexico border unlawfully, in response to the Division of Homeland Safety, which attributed the drop to new border measures.

This story has been up to date with further particulars.

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