Why a historic Mayorkas impeachment might not matter

House Republicans have made ousting President Biden's Homeland Security Secretary a major priority regardless of the political risks

Alejandro Mayorkas
Senate rules would make Mayorkas' trial a far different affair than a presidential impeachment
(Image credit: Photo by John Moore / Getty Images)

The longstanding effort by congressional Republicans to oust Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas appears to be nearing a major inflection point, as the House committee overseeing impeachment proceedings against the Biden administration official looks to advance the process to the full House as early as Jan. 31. Doing so would "[tee] up floor action as early as February," and moves Mayorkas a step closer to becoming "just the second Cabinet secretary in history to be charged with a high crime and misdemeanor," according to CNN which first reported on the expected committee vote date. It's a process that has thus far been as much an exercise in intra-GOP posturing as an attempt to address real policy goals, with Senate Republicans actively working to strike a legislative immigration deal with Mayorkas concurrent to their House colleagues' impeachment effort.

While Republicans have long made restricting immigration — particularly across the U.S.-Mexico border — one of their major tentpole issues, the Mayorkas impeachment effort comes at a particularly tenuous juncture in the political calendar; Donald Trump's dominance in the ongoing 2024 presidential race is in no small part due to the former President's xenophobic rhetoric, while the federal government stands currently at risk of a partial shutdown precipitated by House GOP demands for tougher border policies.

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Rafi Schwartz, The Week US

Rafi Schwartz has worked as a politics writer at The Week since 2022, where he covers elections, Congress and the White House. He was previously a contributing writer with Mic focusing largely on politics, a senior writer with Splinter News, a staff writer for Fusion's news lab, and the managing editor of Heeb Magazine, a Jewish life and culture publication. Rafi's work has appeared in Rolling Stone, GOOD and The Forward, among others.