February 2024OpinionThe Editorial Board

Opinion: Secretary Mayorkas’s Impeachment Will Not Fix the U.S. Border Crisis

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Jimmy Murray
Opinion Editor

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas, on charges of mishandling the influx of undocumented immigrants flooding the U.S.-Mexican border. The vote was incredibly close and overtly divided among political partisanship, with the vote to impeach narrowly winning, with 214 voting for and 213 voting against. The landmark impeachment case resulted in the first U.S. cabinet secretary to be impeached in over 150 years, according to BBC News

At the behest of this initial impeachment, Republicans are vigorously pushing the Senate to commence with another vote for an impeachment trial of Secretary Mayorkas. The likelihood of an impeachment trial vote to remove Mayorkas is of low probability, considering that the Senate is majority-controlled by Democrats. The Senate is expected to receive the articles of impeachment from the House after returning to session Feb. 26, according to the Associated Press. If Mayorkas is to be removed, some policies regarding the border may tighten or change, but ultimately the Biden administration should have to answer for the mess that is the U.S. southern border now, not just the bureaucrat scapegoat with his job on the line.

On Feb. 21, a White House official commented on the possibility of President Biden taking executive action to tighten asylum policy restrictions, said ABC News. Under these new restrictions, immigrants may be barred from achieving asylum if found that they crossed into the United States illegally. This attempt at fixing a mounting problem at the Southern border is too little and too late. Not only is the issue viewed by both Republicans and Democrats as a “serious problem,” but many are going so far to say that it has developed into a major crisis. As Americans, we should always promote and welcome immigration because the country is a melting pot of culture, ideas, and ideology. This country was built on the backs of immigrants and minorities. However, the issue at hand at the border is more than just a politically partisan problem but is a risk for U.S. national security, public health, and private sector economics. 

So far the Biden administration has diligently worked to overturn former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, including raising the maximum limit of refugees the country can admit and expanding family-based green cards and temporary protected status migrants, according to the Pew Research Center. Additionally, the consensus among Americans is that the Biden administration is doing a poor job of handling the crisis overall, with upmost of 80 percent of citizens disproving of the job that the current establishment has done, another study from the Pew Research Center finds. According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the influx of illegal immigrants hit an unprecedented number last December. More undocumented immigrants crossed into the United States through the Southern border than any other recorded time in agency history, with over 225,000 migrants taken into custody over this time frame, according to CBS. Major concerns for Americans regarding undocumented immigrants include economic burdens and national security according to the survey of U.S. adults conducted in 2024. 

Despite being a politically charged issue, illegal immigration is undoubtedly a problem that the United States has been unable to truly tackle for some time now, and the current state of the border is a reflection of not only the weak Biden administration but also the government’s negligence of certain politically implicating national security concerns. If Biden does not change aspects of his broad immigration strategy now, there will be incredibly damaging implications on U.S. national security in the years to come. 

Another major concern for Americans and the Biden Administration is the unprecedented number of undocumented Chinese immigrants crossing through a specific gap in the U.S.-Mexico border wall. The gap is 4 feet wide and 60 miles east of San Diego, marking a major destination for Chinese migrants. Information regarding the gap in the wall has spread on social media, specifically Chinese TikTok, according to CBS. This all comes at a time when Chinese espionage, hacking, and information theft are at all-time highs, putting Americans and the U.S. government in a state of fear and uncertainty unseen since the great power dynamic of the Cold War. 

National security and economic concerns aside, the Biden administration must develop a new strategy to regain the confidence of the American public, keep migrants safe, and create a more efficient documentation process overall. The situation is dire and requires more attention, effort, and resources to be diverted for anything to change other than the removal of a cabinet member. Additionally, Congress must be diligent in implementing new policies that can improve the situation at present. 

Image courtesy of Getty Images

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