▶ Watch Video: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on facing impeachment, border crisis

Washington — House Republicans are moving forward with their effort to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for his handling of the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, with their first hearing on the matter set to get underway Wednesday morning.

The hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee will begin at 10 a.m. and feature testimony from attorneys general from Montana, Oklahoma and Missouri. The hearing is expected to focus on how states have been impacted by Mayorkas’ leadership.

Republicans have made border security a central theme ahead of the 2024 elections and are seeking to capitalize on the issue after an unprecedented number of migrants crossed the southern border at the end of last year.

“The greatest domestic threat to the national security and the safety of the American people is Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas,” GOP Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee, the committee’s chairman, said last week during a trip to Eagle Pass, Texas, with his colleagues.

House Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana led a delegation of more than 60 Republicans to the border. He called the trip an “eye opener,” saying they got a “first-hand look at the damage and chaos the border catastrophe is causing in all of our communities.”

The Mayorkas impeachment push

The hearing comes after House leaders last year stalled an effort by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to force a vote on impeaching Mayorkas. The Georgia Republican pulled her impeachment resolution after she said she received assurances from House leaders that her earlier effort would move forward at the committee level.

Greene’s resolution accused Mayorkas of violating federal law and the Constitution by failing to “maintain operational control of the border” and prevent an “invasion.”

Some Republicans voiced doubt about impeachment at the time, saying Mayorkas’ actions did not amount to impeachable offenses. Others said they wanted to wait for the committee’s investigation to be completed before holding an impeachment vote.

Green, the committee chairman, said last week that the panel recently concluded a nearly yearlong investigation into the situation at the border.

“Our investigation made clear that this crisis finds its foundation in Secretary Mayorkas’ decision-making and refusal to enforce the laws passed by Congress, and that his failure to fulfill his oath of office demands accountability,” he said in a statement announcing the hearing.

Even if the GOP-controlled House impeaches Mayorkas, he is unlikely to be convicted in a trial in the Senate, which has a Democratic majority. Still, his impeachment would be historic given that he’d be the first Cabinet official to be impeached in almost 150 years.

During a visit to the border on Monday, Mayorkas called on Congress to take action to fix the nation’s immigration system and said accusations that he has not enforced the nation’s laws “could not be further from the truth.”

“There is nothing I take more seriously than our responsibility to uphold the law,” Mayorkas said, later adding that “the majority of all migrants encountered at the Southwest border throughout this administration have been removed, returned or expelled — a majority of them.”

Mayorkas has been part of talks between the White House and a small bipartisan group of senators who have been negotiating a potential deal on immigration policy and border security.

“After decades of Congressional inaction on our broken immigration laws, Secretary Mayorkas and a bipartisan group of Senators are working hard to try and find real solutions to address these challenges,” a DHS memo released Wednesday on the impeachment effort said. “Instead of working in a bipartisan way to fix our broken immigration laws, the House Majority is wasting time on baseless and pointless political attacks by trying to impeach Secretary Mayorkas.”

Nikole Killion and Nicole Sganga contributed reporting.

How to watch the Mayorkas impeachment hearing

  • What: House Homeland Security Committee holds its first impeachment hearing for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
  • Date: Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Online stream: Live on CBS News in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device.

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