Spread the love

Republicans indict Biden immigration minister

Photo: Saul Loeb Agence France-Presse The chances that Alejandro Mayorkas will be removed from office as a result of these impeachment proceedings are extremely low.

Camille Camdessus – Agence France-Presse in Washington

February 13, 2024

  • United States

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday indicted Alejandro Mayorkas, President Joe Biden's immigration minister, accusing him of provoking a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.< /p>

This is the first time in nearly 150 years that Congress has decided on such a sanction against a minister. But his dismissal remains largely unlikely, given the Democratic majority in the Senate.

The conservatives had already tried to indict him a week ago, but missed by a handful of votes, in a humiliating vote.

“He is the chief architect of the catastrophe”, had earlier accused Mike Johnson, the Republican leader of the House of Representatives, who decided on the fate of the 64-year-old minister at the beginning evening.

Joe Biden quickly reacted, denouncing, in a press release, a “blatant act of political politics which targeted an honorable servant of the State”.

“Instead of organizing charades like this, Republicans who really care about the border should ask Congress for more resources and to strengthen border security,” lambasted the Democrat from 81 years.

“Political maneuver”

The chances that Alejandro Mayorkas will be removed from office following these impeachment proceedings are extremely low, but the situation nonetheless remains a headache for Joe Biden, unless nine months before the presidential election.

Republicans, most of them close to former President Donald Trump with his very anti-immigration rhetoric, accuse the Democratic president of having allowed the country to be “invaded”, taking as an example the record number of migrants arrested at the border , 302,000 in December.

The Democrats brush aside this procedure, accusing the Republicans of making the minister a scapegoat in the middle of an election year.

Immigration has emerged as one of the key issues in the campaign for the November presidential election, which will in all likelihood pit President Joe Biden against his Republican rival Donald Trump.

The main person concerned, Alejandro Mayorkas, has repeatedly rejected the Republicans' accusations, accusing them of “wasting precious time and taxpayers' money” with the impeachment procedure.

The last indictment of a minister by Congress dates back to… 1876. War Secretary William Belknap, accused of corruption, resigned before the end of the impeachment procedure.

The Constitution provides that Congress can impeach the president, a minister, or federal judges for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The procedure takes place in two stages.

Saved by a barefoot elected official

First, the House of Representatives votes, by a simple majority, on articles of indictment detailing the facts with which the minister is accused: this is called “impeachment” in English.

This is the vote that took place on Tuesday evening.

Three Republican parliamentarians had indicated before the vote that they would vote against, considering the sanction largely disproportionate.

The Republicans could not afford one more defection, given the extremely slim majority they have in the House.

The “impeachment” was finally adopted by 214 votes to 213.

On February 2, the Republican general staff thought they had a sufficient number of votes to win this vote, but were taken by surprise by the surprise arrival in the hemicycle of a Democratic elected official, Al Green, still recovering from abdominal surgery.

The elected official from Arizona rolled into the vote in a wheelchair, barefoot and in hospital clothes, ultimately tipping the scales in favor of the Democrats.

The Republicans having this time succeeded in their bet, the Senate, the upper house of Congress, will put the minister on trial.

At the end of the debates, the 100 senators will vote on each article. A two-thirds majority is required to convict, in which case dismissal is automatic and without appeal. Otherwise, Alejandro Mayorkas will be acquitted.

In any case, the American Senate is currently in the hands of the Democrats, which makes a dismissal of the minister very unlikely.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116