House Republican files impeachment resolution against Mayorkas, and it’s as silly as you think

Part of Kevin McCarthy’s corrupt bargaining in his 15-round bid for the House speakership included supporting ultra-right demands for impeachment proceedings against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. While McCarthy allegedly held no public stance on proceedings earlier in the year, he was leading the threat himself right after the election because he didn’t have the votes to win the gavel.

Part of his corrupt bargaining showed its face this week when a Texas lawmaker on the first day of the new Congress filed articles of impeachment against the secretary. The silly political document claims Mayorkas should be removed “for high crimes and misdemeanors,” and cites in part fentanyl seizures at the southern border as justification. Wait, they want him out for stopping the drugs from coming in? Republicans have been very weirdly mad about successful seizures. Now they want to impeach the guy over it.

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But there’s more, folks. Pat Fallon, a forced birth and anti-LGBTQ Republican from Texas’ 4th Congressional District, also cites the Biden administration’s decision to terminate the previous administration’s Remain in Mexico policy. Despite the right-wing Supreme Court of the United States ruling that the administration acted perfectly lawfully in terminating the anti-asylum policy, Fallon thinks Mayorkas should be impeached for it.

Fallon further cites the Biden administration’s attempt to terminate the previous administration’s Title 42 order, calling it “a critical tool enabling the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to quickly expel illegal aliens.” But remember the public health order’s now-delayed Dec. 21 lift date followed a court ruling that found the scientifically debunked policy violated federal law. So is the GOP stance to now violate court orders?

When asked about impeachment articles, Mayorkas was reportedly “not fazed,” one report said. Even if it is successful, it’ll go nowhere in the U.S. Senate.

“I've got a lot of work to do, and we’re going to do it,” Mayorkas told ABC News. The official said the administration is “dealing within a broken immigration system that Congress has failed to repair for decades.” Fact check: True. Not only did Republicans like Texas Sen. John Cornyn help derail a bipartisan immigration framework at the end of the last Congress, McCarthy has promised no humane immigration legislation will get his signature.

“Number two, the world is dealing with the greatest displacement of people since World War II in the Western Hemisphere,” Mayorkas continued to ABC News. “Our entire hemisphere is gripped with a migration challenge.” New parole opportunities for migrants from regions including Venezuela and Haiti are a step forward in beginning to address these challenges; policies like Title 42 are not, considering it’s only increased apprehensions and forced vulnerable people back to danger.

If you want to see the depths of the GOP’s lack of seriousness, take a look at another Texas Republican: Rep. Chip Roy claimed the administration isn’t doing enough to secure the border, so he’s got a plan of his own: Defund DHS. During a floor speech, Roy urged his colleagues “to stop funding a Department of Homeland Security that refuses to secure the border of the United States.” He promised that the newly empowered Republicans would do that “this year.” You mean defund abusive immigration enforcement agencies? Defund child kidnappers, shooters of unarmed migrants, and the agents who abuse Black migrants before deporting themLet’s fucking go. 

Back to the impeachment resolution, one more thing to mention regarding fentanyl seizures is that Republicans have sought to turn this into a political issue against Democrats when its Republicans who voted against hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the construction and modernization of land ports of entry.

“Improvements like ‘multi-energy portal’ screening technology would increase the ability for illicit narcotics seizures at the nation’s borders without significantly impacting the massive amount of legal trade that runs through those same POEs,” immigration reform advocacy group America’s Voice said last year. But Republicans voted against that.

NBC News reported that the articles against Mayorkas “have been referred to the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.” Jordan, a former wrestling coach who allegedly looked the other way when young students were being sexually abused at Ohio State University, has previously supported an impeachment effort, falsely claiming “we no longer have a border.” Do Republicans believe their own bullshit? It doesn’t really matter as long as they can get others to believe it.


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Chief justice temporarily blocks Title 42 end, indicates further action from court could come soon

Chief Justice John Roberts on Monday temporarily halted the Biden administration’s planned lifting of the anti-asylum Title 42 order, granting a so-called emergency appeal from a slate of Republican attorneys general. “So-called emergency appeal,” because the appeals court panel that had last week denied the GOP request noted that the group of 19 attorneys general had waited too long to file their request.

The Biden administration had planned to lift the debunked public health order that’s used the pandemic as an excuse to quickly deport asylum-seekers in violation of their rights Tuesday evening, following a lower court order. Roberts instructed the administration to respond by this evening, indicating more action could be imminent. Legal expert Mark Joseph Stern noted that Roberts’ administrative stay “does not hint at the eventual outcome.”

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Republicans have simultaneously claimed that the Biden administration has an “open borders” policy while insisting that the Title 42 policy—which was implemented against the advice of public health experts by noted white supremacist Stephen Miller and Mike Pence at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020—must stay in place indefinitely. They have also insisted this public health order remain as they’ve consistently challenged other pandemic-related orders by the administration.

“The Biden administration, for its part, has insisted it is prepared to lift Title 42, saying the restoration of regular immigration procedures, such expedited deportations, will allow the U.S. to gradually reduce migrant arrivals and the high rate of repeat crossings recorded during the pandemic,” CBS News reported.

That last part is crucial: Title 42 in fact led to an increase in apprehensions, because desperate people blocked from their asylum rights and expelled have had no choice but to try again. It’s a failed policy, and its lifting would put our country back on the side of respecting U.S. and international asylum law. In a statement, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that as required by Roberts’ order, “the Title 42 public health order will remain in effect at this time and individuals who attempt to enter the United States unlawfully will continue to be expelled to Mexico.”

“While this stage of the litigation proceeds, we will continue our preparations to manage the border in a safe, orderly, and humane way when the Title 42 public health order lifts,” Mayorkas continued. “We urge Congress to use this time to provide the funds we have requested for border security and management and advance the comprehensive immigration measures President Biden proposed on his first day in office.”

House Republicans set to take power in the next Congress have indicated they’re serious about leading on immigration policy … by pushing a harebrained idea to impeach Mayorkas. Over what crimes? They haven’t figured that part out yet.

Vice President Kamala Harris similarly noted the need for lawmakers to lead on comprehensive immigration measures, and she called out for Republicans for failing to come to the table. They obsess on the issue of immigration only when it’s election season (my words, not hers). For example, a proposed framework that would have passed permanent relief for young immigrants in exchange for harsh border measures recently failed, derailed by Republicans’ “border first” excuses even though there was border stuff in there.

"I think that there is so much that needs to happen to address the issue," the vice president told NPR. "And sadly, what we have seen in particular, I am sad to say, from Republicans in Congress is an unwillingness to engage in any meaningful reform that could actually fix a lot of what we are witnessing.”


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House members urge federal intervention into Greg Abbott’s white nationalist declaration

Is Greg Abbott looking to the 2024 presidential race? Quite possibly, and groan, because after trouncing Beto O’Rourke in the 2022 election by nearly one million votes, the right-wing governor is continuing his string of nativist stunts, this week officially declaring supposed powers that he claims allow him to take “unprecedented measures” to defend Texas “against an invasion.”

No one’s being invaded, and Abbott knows that. He’s instead signaling to the white nationalists who like to use this language. But just as importantly, some of the supposed powers that Abbott claims he has, like returning migrants to the border, are strictly the job of the federal government. A number of lawmakers from Texas say it's incumbent on the government to intervene.

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“As members of Congress representing the great state of Texas, we are deeply disturbed with recent comments made by the Governor of Texas suggesting he has invoked invasion authorities under the U.S. Constitution to justify the use of state resources to further militarize our southern border,” lawmakers led by former Trump impeachment manager Sylvia Garcia tell the Biden administration in a letter obtained by The Hill. They not only object to Abbott’s supposed authority, they object to his reckless, flame-throwing rhetoric.

“Legal authority aside, there is simply not an invasion happening at the border,” they continued. “Many of the immigrants arriving at our border are exercising their right to claim asylum and other forms of humanitarian relief. They are not waging war against the United States or Texas.”

It is sad that even has to be said, but Abbott has a history of signaling to violent white supremacists through his rhetoric. He knows damn well that “invasion” wording was used by the racist mass gunman who murdered Texans at a Walmart in 2019, yet he’s continued to echo that rhetoric as recently as this past summer. Greg Abbott knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s further endangering lives—even as racist mass shooters since El Paso have echoed that wording.

“Declaring an invasion under the U.S. Constitution is an incendiary and divisive idea that will certainly lead to unnecessary litigation and will encourage dangerous anti-immigrant sentiments,” lawmakers continued in their letter. “Put simply, this type of reckless stunt will only continue to put Latino communities at risk of greater violence.”

The Hill also reports that Abbott’s actions are again pissing off Mexican officials, who said in a statement that “implementation of migratory laws, border control and the negotiation of international agreements are exclusive authorities of the federal government.” Abbott already faced ire from the Mexican government during his short-lived, massively expensive flop of a stunt forcing commercial vehicles to undergo redundant checks that actually didn’t do much of any checking. Facing international blowback and massive financial losses, Abbott quickly ended the disastrous policy.

Abbott has continued his busing stunt using migrants as human props, expanding his scheme to Pennsylvania. Among those he sent to Philadelphia was a 10-year-old girl who reportedly arrived so sick with fever and dehydration that she had to be immediately hospitalized. But Greg Abbott doesn’t care.

“The Governor of Texas is taking a white nationalist conspiracy theory that has inspired multiple domestic terrorist attacks and making it official state policy by declaring migrants to be a literal invading force,” said Zachary Mueller, Political Director at America’s Voice. “In 2019, a Texas man murdered 23 people in El Paso, Texas, in an act of domestic terrorism, which he believed would stop the ‘Hispanic invasion.’ After three years and another terrorist attack in Buffalo, New York, inspired by ‘invasion’ paranoia, Gov. Abbott is fully embracing this deadly racist lie and giving it a governmental imprimatur.”


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