House Speaker Mike Johnson has announced plans to send articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate on April 10, calling for a full trial and GOP arguments in favor of Mayorkas being ousted. The House Republicans accuse Mayorkas of refusing to comply with immigration laws and lying to Congress and the American people about the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has dismissed the impeachment as a partisan “sham” and indicated that the trial is likely to be a ceremonial stage with no basis in reality. Senate Democrats and some Republicans view the impeachment as a waste of time and may move to dismiss the trial shortly after it begins.

The impeachment of Mayorkas is based on accusations of his willful refusal to comply with immigration laws and breach of public trust, blaming him for the surge in migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. House Republicans lack the votes to impeach President Joe Biden, so they have decided to target Mayorkas instead. This marks only the second time in U.S. history that a cabinet secretary has been impeached, with the first instance occurring in 1876. President Biden has criticized Republicans for their impeachment efforts, calling it unconstitutional partisanship and a political stunt. He urged Republicans to focus on delivering more border resources and stronger security instead of targeting public servants.

Senate Democrats are expected to receive the articles of impeachment against Mayorkas as required by the U.S. Constitution, with senators to be sworn in as jurors on April 11. However, the trial is likely to face opposition from multiple Senate Democrats and some Republicans who view it as a partisan exercise with no constitutional standard met for impeachment. Many senators have expressed a desire to quickly dismiss the case, viewing it as a slippery slope that should be avoided. With Democrats controlling 51 Senate seats, they could easily move to dismiss the trial shortly after it begins, as some Republicans may also join them in this effort.

The House GOP vote to impeach Mayorkas narrowly passed by a margin of 214 to 213, with two articles accusing him of refusal to comply with immigration laws and breaching public trust. This marks a policy dispute with President Biden, as Republicans do not have the votes to impeach him directly. President Trump was previously impeached for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, but was eventually acquitted after a month of deliberations. The Mayorkas impeachment is seen as unlikely to proceed further in the Senate, with many senators viewing it as a waste of time and a purely partisan exercise. Schumer has indicated that the Senate will receive the articles, but the trial may be dismissed due to lack of evidence and constitutional standards being met.

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