By Moira Warburton and Ted Hesson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House will vote on Monday whether to advance or block a Republican charge to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for allegedly failing in his duty to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.
The House of Representatives has scheduled a 6:30 p.m. ET (2330 GMT) vote on a Democratic motion to block the drive.
The articles of impeachment, introduced by Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene on Thursday, contend that Mayorkas, an appointee of Democratic President Joe Biden, violated his oath of office by failing to constrain the record numbers of migrants arriving at the border.
The move comes as Congress has less than five days to extend funding or send the U.S. into its fourth partial government shutdown in a decade.
The impeachment comes after months of threats from Republicans, who blame Biden’s administration for rolling back harsh restrictions on accepting migrants and asylum seekers put in place under then-President Donald Trump, a Republican.
The Republican-controlled House appears likely to impeach Mayorkas, but he will almost definitely be found innocent after a trial in the Senate, which Democrats control by a slim margin.
In response to the initial impeachment motion, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security spokesperson said lawmakers should stop “their reckless impeachment charades and attacks on law enforcement” and instead “deliver desperately needed reforms for our broken immigration system.”
Since Biden took office in 2021, U.S. border agents have made more than 5 million arrests of migrants making irregular crossings – that is, not through a controlled border station – over the U.S.-Mexico border. Migrants have arrived from around the world; large numbers have fled economic and political turmoil in Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Both Biden and Trump are seeking another term in office in 2024, with Trump the leading candidate for the Republican nomination.
House Republicans have also launched an impeachment inquiry into Biden himself. The probe is focused on the president’s son, Hunter Biden, and the White House has denied any wrongdoing.
(Reporting by Moira Warburton and Ted Hesson; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis)
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