House Democrat says he’s considering Mayorkas impeachment over border wall construction

Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., left, talks with from left, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.,, Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., and Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., in the House chamber as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik/AP

House Democrat says he’s considering Mayorkas impeachment over border wall construction

Cami Mondeaux

March 18, 02:48 PM March 18, 02:48 PM

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A House Democrat said he would consider voting in favor of impeaching Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, offering GOP lawmakers a possible path to charging the Biden administration official.

Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA) expressed interest in joining his Republican colleagues to impeach Mayorkas, although for different reasons than what GOP lawmakers are currently trying to pursue. Vargas said he would consider voting to impeach the DHS secretary over the construction of a pair of border walls in San Diego that Mayorkas previously vowed to halt.


“[Mayorkas] told us that he would help us, and he hasn’t done it,” Vargas told reporters on Friday. “He betrayed us.”

Vargas is referring to a border wall project underway at Friendship Park, located between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. Friendship Park has long served as a place for families to meet along the border with a gate in between them, but the area has been closed off by gates for several years.

Now, Border Patrol agents say the gates are deteriorating and should be replaced with new walls — a decision Vargas and other local Democratic officials have pushed back against. Construction on the new border walls reportedly began several weeks ago and is scheduled to be completed in six months.

Vargas accused Mayorkas of ending public access to the area, noting the Homeland secretary had once promised the construction would be stopped.

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House Republicans have been adamant to impeach Mayorkas since taking control of the lower chamber in January. GOP leaders such as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) have long vowed to open impeachment inquiries into the DHS secretary if he doesn’t step down from office, targeting him for his handling of the southern border.

Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) introduced three articles of impeachment against Mayoraks in January, accusing Mayorkas of allegedly undermining law enforcement activities at the southern border. Fallon’s impeachment inquiry introduces three articles against Mayorkas, including charges of engaging in a pattern of conduct “incompatible with his duties,” providing false and misleading testimony to Congress, and “knowingly” slandering Border Patrol agents.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) introduced his own articles of impeachment against Mayorkas for “the systematic destruction of the geographical integrity of the United States of America.”

The articles of impeachment have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, and it’s unclear if or when they will be considered by the entire House. If Republicans impeach Mayorkas, it’s unlikely he would be convicted in the Democratic-led Senate.

Meanwhile, the DHS said Mayorkas has no plans to resign from his post, noting the accusations being used to file the impeachment inquiry do not meet the constitutional standard of high crimes and misdemeanors.

“Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of this Department, support its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American people,” a DHS spokesperson told the Washington Examiner in January. “The Department will continue our work to enforce our laws and secure our border, while building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system. Members of Congress can do better than point the finger at someone else; they should come to the table and work on solutions for our broken system and outdated laws, which they have not updated in over 40 years.”

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