Written by Midhi Agbaw
Alejandro Mayorkas, the Department of Homeland Security secretary, is facing impeachment by Republicans in the House of Representatives. His supporters view him as a trustworthy, tenacious Cabinet member. They believe that he has a special understanding of the immigrant experience that influences how he runs the DHS. Those who are against him view him as a representative of the issues at the Mexican American border. He is responsible for allowing thousands of illegal immigrants into the US, contributing to a growing crisis.
Mayorkas is the first Latino and immigrant to be the Secretary of the DHS, a large government agency that employs 260,000 people. He will be the first Cabinet member to be impeached in almost 150 years if the Republicans in the House are successful in expelling him.
The DHS was established after the September 11th Terrorist Attacks and united 22 different departments and agencies into one organization. A former counter-terrorism DHS official, Tom Warrick, has said that it is the second toughest job in the federal government.
“Only the president’s is tougher. The secretary of DHS has to oversee the most diverse mission portfolio in the federal government. And almost all of it is a high-wire act where failure would have enormous consequences,” Warrick said.
The DHS’ projects in the past year demonstrate their diverse roles. They have established an AI task force to find how to handle the new technology, provided security for President Joe Biden during his trip to Ukraine, and collaborated with historically black colleges and universities to address bomb threats. With all the activities of the DHS, Mayorkas has been targeted for impeachment due to their policies on immigration. Representatives in Congress may vote on the impeachment within the next week, but it is uncertain whether Republicans have enough support because of their small majority in the House.