Mayorkas says his critics on Capitol Hill ‘will not force’ him out

Alejandro Mayorkas
AP/Mariam Zuhaib
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, speaks during a House Homeland Security to Senate committee on ‘Threats to the Homeland’, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a new interview that he will not be pushed out of his position amid efforts from some House Republicans to impeach him.

“They will not force me out,” he told CNN’s Chris Wallace on Sunday’s episode of “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace.”

Many House Republicans have repeatedly called to impeach Mayorkas, arguing that the secretary does not have “operational control” of the border despite repeated claims the border is secure.

Two articles of impeachment have now been levied against Mayorkas this year, alleging that Mayorkas lied to Congress about having control of the border and that he has failed in his duties to control the border.

The GOP’s impeachment case against him is dependent on a 2006 law that states operational control of the border is defined as the prevention “of all unlawful entries.” Critics have argued that this definition of operational control was commonly seen as impossible to meet.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called on Mayorkas to resign in November, saying that a House investigation will determine if an impeachment inquiry is warranted. The Department of Homeland Security has previously said that Mayorkas has no plans to resign.

Mayorkas said that he takes calls for his impeachment “seriously” and that he intends to appear before Congress when he is called to.

“I take them seriously,” he said. “It is the leadership of the House that provided those remarks. I don’t dismiss it by any measure, but what I do is I focus on my work.”

He also added that he does not think he has done anything wrong.

“I think it is a disagreement over policy,” he said. “And I think it is used for political purposes to continue a negative dialogue about a migration challenge that is not unique to the United States, to continue that dialogue to uplift it for political reasons.”

The impeachment of cabinet members has been exceedingly rare throughout U.S. history.

Former President Grant’s secretary of war, William Belknap, was the only Cabinet member to be impeached in history. He resigned in 1876 before he would have been likely convicted for taking kickbacks for appointing a contractor to run a trading post in Oklahoma.

Tags Alejandro Mayorkas Alejandro Mayorkas border security Chris Wallace Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Mayorkas impeachment

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