US Homeland Security Secretary Impeachment Highlights Increased Political Infighting





The U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Feb. 13.

Throughout U.S. history, only one cabinet official has been impeached before, in 1876, on criminal charges, and the official resigned before the vote.* Reuters has already noted that the impeachment of a cabinet official over a policy dispute is “near-unprecedented.” The Associated Press has also said that while the impeachment of officials used to be rare in U.S. history it is now increasingly used as a political weapon. So, how should we view the impeachment of the secretary of Homeland Security by the House? And what impact will the impeachment have on the United States? Let’s take a look at an analysis by Professor Cui Hongjian of the Academy of Regional and Global Governance at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

The House impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas makes it clear that the political struggle between the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States has further intensified. Close to 3 million so-called immigrants entered the United States illegally in 2023 with over 2.2 million entering from the southern border. Against this backdrop, the Republican Party clearly believes that the Democratic Party’s purported immigration policies have caused significant trouble for American society.

At the end of last year, we saw Texas openly challenging federal law and challenging the Biden administration’s policies, not only by setting up barbed wire fences along the border but also by using force against immigrants entering the country illegally. The Republican Party will undoubtedly continue to make trouble for the Biden administration on this issue. The U.S. Constitution provides that after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives impeaches Mayorkas, the Senate must try Mayorkas on the impeachment charges. The Democratic Party, which holds a majority in the Senate, will obviously not vote to hear the case, given that it takes a two-thirds majority vote of the senators to do so. I believe it is highly probable that the Democratic Senate majority will block the Mayorkas impeachment. However, regardless of how the Mayorkas case is handled, there is no doubt he has become a powerful tool for the Republican Party to use against the Democratic Party and the Biden administration.

The Democratic Party will challenge the impeachment, making it difficult for both parties to find compromise.

Next, I believe that as the presidential election approaches, the Democratic and Republican parties will each try to find and exploit the vulnerabilities and weaknesses in each other and both sides will continue to use any legal loopholes to deliver greater blows to their opponents. The Mayorkas case is likely to become a landmark event in the rivalry and game-playing between the Democratic and Republican parties this year. It highlights how the two parties have increasingly less room for compromise.

*Editor’s note: The author is referring to the impeachment of Secretary of War William Belknap. A trader post scandal led to Belknap’s sudden resignation, impeachment and trial by the Senate, where Belknap was acquitted.

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