WASHINGTON — Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said Wednesday that he's filing articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who has faced demands from top Republicans to resign over his handling of the southern border.
Biggs announced the move at a news conference flanked by several Republicans, including Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. He said Mayorkas has violated his oath of office.
"The founders said that you have impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors — that’s constitutional," Biggs said. "They didn’t say you have to be convicted of a felony. What they said is you have a public official who has violated public trust, and there is nobody who typifies that more in my opinion than Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas."
Biggs was also joined by Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, who also filed articles of impeachment against Mayorkas in early January. Biggs said Wednesday that they are co-sponsoring each other's proposals. Fallon's articles, which were referred to the Judiciary Committee, accused Mayorkas of “high crimes and misdemeanors” in his role as homeland security secretary.
Biggs called on the House to proceed "with this impeachment swiftly," although he said he wants the process to unfold through the appropriate committee.
Responding to threats of impeachment, Mayorkas appeared to dismiss the GOP’s effort in an interview Tuesday on MSNBC.
“Within a broken system, we are doing everything that we can to increase its efficiency, to provide humanitarian relief when the law permits and to also deliver an enforcement consequence when the law dictates,” he said. “That is exactly what we are doing. And as far as I am concerned, I will continue to do that with tremendous pride in the people with whom I work.”
The Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, held the first in what is expected to be a series of hearings about the U.S.-Mexico border Wednesday morning. The hearing was titled "Biden’s Border Crisis — Part One"; Republicans said it would "examine border security, national security, and how fentanyl has impacted American lives."
Biggs, when he was chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, introduced articles of impeachment against Mayorkas in August 2021, saying in a statement at the time that Mayorkas was "a threat to the sovereignty and security of our nation." Biggs falsely said that Mayorkas was "encouraging aliens to enter our country illegally" and that DHS was "systematically releasing COVID-19 positive aliens into our communities." His effort did not advance in the Democratic-controlled House.
Congressional Republicans have made immigration and the surge in border crossings top issues since President Joe Biden took office. The administration has faced GOP criticism for moving to terminate Trump-era policies such as “Remain in Mexico,” aimed at restricting immigration at the southern border, and Title 42, a policy implemented near the start of the Covid pandemic that allowed U.S. authorities to turn asylum-seekers away at the border.
When House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was minority leader in November, he called on Mayorkas to resign, saying he had failed to secure the southern border. During a trip to El Paso, Texas, with other GOP lawmakers, McCarthy warned that House Republicans would launch an investigation if Mayorkas refused to resign and that they would consider impeachment proceedings.
The Senate confirmed Mayorkas as homeland security secretary in a 56-43 vote in February 2021. Six Republicans voted with Democrats to confirm him.
CORRECTION (Feb. 1, 2023, 4:30 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the department Mayorkas leads in the headline. He is the secretary of homeland security, not housing.