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Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

What to expect in Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas impeachment proceedings

WASHINGTON – The House will delay sending articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate until next week, a move intended to give Republicans more leverage to push for a full impeachment trial as they continue to blast the secretary's handling of the U.S. southern border. The lower chamber had planned to send the articles on Wednesday, setting up the Senate to start their own process on Thursday. But Democratic leaders are not expected to allow a full trial against Mayorkas on the Senate floor, so the mid-week transfer would likely have put additional pressure on the chamber to dismiss the impeachment articles quickly so senators could leave town for the weekend. "To ensure the Senate has adequate time to perform its constitutional duty, the House will transmit the article of impeachment to the Senate next week," Taylor Haulsee, spokesperson for House Speaker Mike Johnson, said in a statement. "There is no reason whatsoever for the Senate to abdicate its responsibility to hold an impeachment trial." Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters shortly afterward that Senate Democrats are still "ready to go" whenever the House initiates the proceedings. Prep for the polls: See who is running for president and compare where they stand on key issues in our Voter Guide "We're sticking with our plan," he said. "We're going to move this as expeditiously as possible." Senate Republicans plan to raise multiple "points of order" on the floor when the House does send over the articles of impeachment they passed earlier this year. A point of order is a procedural move that would drag out the vote and may force Democrats to take politically uncomfortable votes in a high-stakes election year. Get the Susan Page newsletter in your inbox. Get the latest story from Susan Page right in your inbox. Delivery: Varies Your Email Republicans' strategy is unlikely to change the final result, as Democrats are expected to dismiss or essentially stall the impeachment proceedings. However, key centrist senators that typically vote with Democrats could break rank, which would change the equation if all Republicans stick together. Senate GOP Whip Sen. John Thune of South Dakota said Tuesday that the "overwhelming majority" of Republicans will vote to hold a trial, indicating that there are likely to be at least a few defectors. The conservative case for holding a trial A group of seven ultraconservative senators led by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, railed against Democrats' plan to avoid an impeachment trial for nearly an hour on the Senate floor Monday evening, urging their colleagues to vote to hold a full impeachment trial – or face voters' wrath at the ballot box this fall. "If you're so confident that the charges against Secretary Mayorkas are baseless, then why not hold a trial?" Lee said on the floor Sunday. "This is exactly what it looks like when someone is aware that there is a problem and wants to sweep the problem under the rug... You can't hide this." The Senate has held a trial for every impeached official unless they died or left office before a trial could be held, Lee told USA TODAY ahead of the speeches. "Tabling it is not just a terrible idea, but it's counter-constitutional." Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during the third annual Axios What's Next Summit at the Planet Word Museum on March 19, 2024 in Washington, DC. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, argued during a press conference Tuesday that Democrats only plan to dismiss the trial to shield vulnerable Democratic senators that are up for reelection this year: "That's who Chuck Schumer is trying to protect from having to hear the evidence and fulfill a constitutional responsibility." The conservative senators said they would explore the procedural options to make dismissing the trial as politically painful as possible. "This is the United States Constitution and 240-plus years of precedent. My personal view is that the consequences ought to be commiserate with the action," said Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has repeatedly called it a "sham impeachment" that's "a new low for House Republicans." "House Republicans failed to produce any evidence that Secretary Mayorkas has committed any crime," Schumer said earlier this year, and "failed to present any evidence of anything resembling an impeachable offense." Why did the Republican-led House of Representatives impeach Mayorkas? The Republican-led House voted to impeach Mayorkas in February by a count of 214-213, making him the second cabinet secretary in American history to be impeached (the first was nearly 150 years ago.) No Democrats supported the effort, and a few Republicans also voted against it. House Republicans argued that Mayorkas violated the Constitution by deliberately refusing to enforce border security laws. The impeachment inquiry in the House "demonstrated beyond any doubt that Secretary Mayorkas has willfully and systemically refused to comply with the laws of the United States, and breached the public trust," said House Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., earlier this year. But Democrats, some Republicans, constitutional law experts and former Homeland Security secretaries have contended that the GOP-led effort uses the impeachment process – typically reserved for conduct considered high crimes and misdemeanors – to settle a policy disagreement about how to address the nation's immigration system, effectively weakening a powerful congressional tool. "We've taken impeachment and we've made it a social media issue as opposed to a Constitutional one," Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., told reporters shortly after announcing he would leave Congress early. "This place just keeps going down, and I don't need to spend my time here." The debate has come amid surging migration to the southern border, with many people fleeing dangerous conditions and economic uncertainty in central and South America and seeking refuge in the United States. Immigration has become a major issue in the presidential election this fall. In January, immigration was the top problem cited by American voters in a Gallup poll. A February survey from the Pew Research Center found 80% of Americans feel the government is doing a bad job handling the number of migrants at the border. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., (C) speaks during a news conference with Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., (L) and Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., following a closed-door caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on March 20, 2024 in Washington, DC. Here's what to expect in the Senate When the House sends the articles of impeachment over to the Senate, Johnson will hold a ceremony to sign them. The impeachment articles will then be walked across the Capitol building to the Senate by the House impeachment managers, which include Green, Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Reps. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Ben Cline, R-Va., Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y., Michael Guest, R-Miss., Clay Higgins, R-La. Laurel Lee, R-Fla., August Pfluger, R-Texas, and Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo. The articles will be read out loud and the day after, each senator will be sworn in as a juror in the trial. Then Democratic leaders are likely to move to dismiss the trial, which would only require a majority vote to accomplish. However, it's not clear exactly whether moderate members of each party might defect from their peers. Asked where they stand on dismissing the trial, multiple senators including Manchin, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, declined to say on Monday how they'd vote (though Manchin called the impeachment effort "pure crap" in February.) The Senate could also choose to send the impeachment trial to a committee to prevent it from taking up valuable floor time, which would eventually go back to the full Senate to vote whether to convict. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

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