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Mayorkas Says He’s ‘Focused on the Work’ After Dodging Impeachment

Mayorkas Says He’s ‘Focused on the Work’ After Dodging Impeachment


Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the homeland safety secretary, didn’t take time for a victory lap after surviving a chaotic impeachment vote within the House this week. He hopped a flight to Las Vegas, the place he outlined safety preparations for the Super Bowl.

Impeachment, he insisted on Wednesday, was not on the high of his thoughts.

“The allegations are baseless and I’m targeted on the work,” Mr. Mayorkas advised reporters who peppered him with questions concerning the proceedings again in Washington the day earlier than.

After three years on the job, Mr. Mayorkas has realized to maintain his head down via the drama, his confidants say. That talent may turn out to be useful once more quickly, as House Republicans plan a second try at impeaching a person who has grow to be the face of probably the most divisive matters in American politics: the southern border.

“I feel that is disagreeable for him and his household, however he’s singularly targeted on his job,” stated Cecilia Muñoz, head of the White House Domestic Policy Council throughout the Obama administration. “For anybody that is aware of him in any respect, that’s not stunning.”

Mr. Mayorkas, 64, has come below fireplace from the second he stepped into his function, significantly from Republicans who see chaos on the border as a helpful political technique of their efforts to seize the White House in 2024.

He has testified in entrance of Congress in public hearings greater than two dozen occasions, probably the most of any member of President Biden’s cupboard, because the variety of individuals crossing into the United States has reached file ranges. He can be the primary Latino to run the division; his household fled to the United States when he was a yr previous, escaping the communist rise in Cuba.

Mayorkas cited his upbringing in a January letter to Representative Mark E. Green, Republican of Tennessee and the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, who has led the cost for impeachment.

“My reverence for regulation enforcement was instilled in me by my dad and mom, who introduced me to this nation to flee the Communist takeover of Cuba and permit me the freedoms and alternative that our democracy supplies,” Mr. Mayorkas wrote. “My dad and mom skilled such loss on the fisted palms of authoritarianism that the American regulation enforcement officer stood as a tangible image of security and the rule of regulation in our new house.”

House Republicans have argued that Mr. Mayorkas ought to be impeached on the grounds that failure to implement sure elements of immigration regulation is a constitutional crime. But within the United States, the president and his administration have extensive latitude to regulate the border, and Mr. Mayorkas has not exceeded these authorities.

Mr. Mayorkas rose to prominence in California as U.S. lawyer for the Central District of California in 1998. During the Obama administration, he held key roles on the Department of Homeland Security, together with as head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from 2009 to 2013, when he oversaw the rollout of a preferred program defending 1000’s of people that got here to the United States as youngsters. He later served as deputy secretary of the company.

Angela Kelley, a former senior adviser on immigration to Mr. Mayorkas, stated his business-as-usual actions after the impeachment vote confirmed how he felt about all the course of.

“I feel it alerts that he’s put his head down and is doing his job and nothing he’s carried out is an impeachable offense,” she stated.

Mr. Mayorkas was properly conscious that taking the job as secretary of the division would include an intense stage of scrutiny, particularly after the Trump administration introduced immigration coverage to the forefront of voters’ minds, Ms. Muñoz stated.

“He knew when he took the job it was going to be the topic of horrible politics,” she stated. “It solely will get worse yr after yr. He knew what was going to be a difficulty, and he took the job with eyes extensive open.”

At the information convention in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Mr. Mayorkas batted away questions on whether or not he would resign if Republicans received sufficient votes to question him sooner or later.

“No,” he stated. “I might not.”

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