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IN FOCUS - Feb 16, 2024

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The move marked a sharp escalation in border-related tensions between the political parties, and was the nation’s first impeachment of a sitting cabinet secretary.

Arizona’s congressional delegation split along partisan lines; the six GOP members voted to impeach, and three Democrats sided with Secretary Mayorkas. Border security routinely ranks among Arizona’s top political issues, but carries outsized importance this year with migrant crossings breaking records and ports of entry closed for a month this winter.

Between now and November, expect to see Republicans - especially vulnerable Reps. David Schweikert and Juan Ciscomani -  heavily tout their votes to hold Secretary Majorkas accountable for the border disorder. For their part, Democrats will blame Donald Trump and Republicans for the failure of a separate measure to reform asylum policies and invest billions of dollars in border security. Dems just successfully leveraged the issue to help flip a GOP-held congressional seat in a New York special election.

The impeachment itself isn’t likely to amount to anything concrete. The issue moves to the U.S. Senate, where a two-thirds vote would be required for impeachment and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is reportedly already weighing how to dismiss the charges. 

Bottom line: Secretary Mayorkas isn’t going anywhere unless he resigns or President Biden removes him.


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