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The first impeachment of a US cabinet minister in nearly 150 years

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The first impeachment of a US cabinet minister in nearly 150 years

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The US House on Tuesday approved the start of impeachment proceedings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the equivalent of the Interior Secretary in Democrat Joe Biden’s government. It is the first time in almost 150 years that a minister of a United States government has been impeached: the last time was in 1876, when it fell to Secretary of War William Belknap.

Impeachment is a political procedure to remove the holder of a public office from his job, and it works like a trial: after the vote in the House, in the next few weeks a debate will be held in the Senate at the end of which a vote will decide whether to remove him or not no.

The House, which is controlled by the Republicans by a few votes, voted for the impeachment of Alejandro Mayorkas with only one vote: 214 to 213, thanks above all to the positive vote of the Republican congressman Steve Scalise, who returned after being in convalescence for a tumor that had been diagnosed in August. However, in the Senate the majority is Democrats and it is very difficult for the impeachment request to be approved there too.

The impeachment was requested by Republicans who had accused Mayorkas of having refused to enforce immigration law by not applying some measures decided by the administration of former President Donald Trump, such as the obligation for migrant people to wait in Mexico the outcome of the examination of the asylum application. According to Republicans, Mayorkas’ policies have contributed to the large increase in illegal immigration arriving from Mexico in recent months, an issue that has become central in the campaign for November’s presidential elections.

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Tuesday’s was the second attempt in a week by the House to impeach Mayorkas: the first was on Tuesday 6 February, when the request was rejected with 216 votes against and 214 in favor: four Republicans who believed the procedure would have created a dangerous precedent. Second many constitutionaliststhe impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas were poorly motivated from a legal point of view and were instead more political, a sign of the ongoing transformation of a measure, which was once an extreme solution, into one of the many political weapons in the conflict between the parties.

– Read also: There are no longer the impeachments of the past

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