The House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, making him the first Cabinet secretary to be impeached in almost 150 years. The vote, which was narrowly passed with a vote of 214 to 213, came after an initial attempt failed last week. The impeachment effort accuses Mayorkas of “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and a “breach of public trust.”

However, the impeachment is unlikely to move forward in the Senate, which has the final say on removing officials under the Constitution. The Department of Homeland Security has called the impeachment push “pointless,” “unconstitutional,” and “baseless,” while Democrats have criticized it as a political stunt with no constitutional basis.

Despite arguments from constitutional scholars that the allegations against Mayorkas do not meet the standard for impeachment, enough Republicans supported the move to protest the administration’s handling of the U.S.-Mexico border. House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, stated that Mayorkas “is an exceptional case” and that he has “brought more damage on the country than any cabinet secretary that has ever been.”

Now that Mayorkas has been impeached, the process moves to the Senate, where a trial would be held to determine whether he should be removed from office. However, with the Senate currently controlled by Democrats, it is unlikely that the impeachment will be successful. Despite this, the House has fulfilled its constitutional responsibility and sent a message of disapproval to the administration’s handling of the border situation.  

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