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House GOP unveils Mayorkas impeachment articles

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing titled "Worldwide Threats to the Homeland" at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. The House GOP has unveiled articles of impeachment against him. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing titled "Worldwide Threats to the Homeland" at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. The House GOP has unveiled articles of impeachment against him. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- House GOP members have filed a pair of articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, alleging that he committed "high crimes and misdemeanors."

The first impeachment article charges Mayorkas with "willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law," according to a 20-page resolution offered by Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn.

House Republicans allege in the second that Mayorkas has "breached the public trust" by allegedly making "false statements."

The GOP has been targeting Mayorkas over what they say is a failed immigration policy, resulting in an increase in illegal immigration at the U.S. border with Mexico.

A special committee will meet Tuesday and take up the articles. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has said he will bring the articles to the House floor "as soon as possible."

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Christopher Wray look on after a recess during a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing titled "Worldwide Threats to the Homeland" at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. The House GOP has unveiled articles of impeachment against him. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

"These articles lay out a clear, compelling, and irrefutable case for Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' impeachment," Green, the chair of the Homeland Committee said in a statement.

"He has willfully and systemically refused to comply with immigration laws enacted by Congress. He has breached the public trust by knowingly making false statements to Congress and the American people, and obstructing congressional oversight of his department."

Democrats have pushed back against the impeachment claims and charged House Republicans with "abusing" their impeachment power, CNN reported.

"What is glaringly missing from these articles is any real charge or even a shred of evidence of high crimes or misdemeanors -- the Constitutional standard for impeachment," Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, the top Democrat on the committee said in a statement.

"That should come as no surprise because Republicans' so-called 'investigation' of Secretary Mayorkas has been a remarkably fact-free affair."

Republicans have been using the immigration issue as a high-profile issue against Democrats, and have made it a campaign issue heading into the teeth of the 2024 presidential campaign.

DHS has continuously countered that the impeachment attempts are a "farce" and a "distraction from other vital national security priorities."

A newly released memo from DHS argues that there are no high crimes or misdemeanors and that the inquiry was "predetermined from the start." The memo described the process as "cynical and hypocritical."

"Beyond being an illegitimate exercise unworthy of the job Members of Congress were actually sent to Washington to do, the CHS Republicans' impeachment effort is baseless," the memo said.

"Secretary Mayorkas is enforcing and utilizing the law to safeguard our homeland exactly as every one of his predecessors did."

Mayorkas has remained steadfast that he will remain in the post, despite the impeachment attempt.

Only one cabinet member has ever been impeached in American history -- Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876, acquitted of corruption in the administration of President Ulysses Grant.