The very short Mayorkas impeachment trial, explained

“Republicans argued that he did not properly enforce immigration laws, citing, in one case, the decision to release migrants after they arrived at the southern border. In fact, that’s an established practice followed by multiple administrations, in part because the US does not have sufficient space to detain people as they await immigration hearings.
Republicans also said that Mayorkas had made false statements to Congress because he testified that the border was “secure,” and that he blocked oversight by failing to respond to subpoenas and offer sufficient access to his office.

Mayorkas has pushed back against the charges, noting that his approach may differ from that of Republicans, but he’s been committed to immigration enforcement and has worked to comply with Congress’s oversight of the agency by providing testimony and documents.

Many Constitutional law experts also said Republicans had not shown that the charges reached a legal bar for impeachment, and that they instead seemed to be founded on policy disagreements. “If allegations like this were sufficient to justify impeachment, the separation of powers would be permanently destabilized,” wrote top scholars, including Harvard’s Laurence Tribe and Berkeley’s Erwin Chemerinsky, in a January letter.

The first phase of the Senate trial on Wednesday took place because the upper chamber needed to fulfill its constitutional duty. Following a House impeachment, the Senate’s job is to hear the charges and determine whether the person should be convicted. If an official is convicted — which requires a two-third majority vote — they would then be removed from their position. The Senate also has the option to dismiss, or table, the impeachment articles if a simple majority votes to do so.

Ultimately, that’s what happened on both articles against Mayorkas, though it wasn’t without some drama. During the process, Republicans were able to force additional votes on “points of order,” or procedural motions regarding how the impeachment should move forward. They used this platform to slam Democrats repeatedly for not holding a full trial like those seen during the impeachment proceedings of former Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton and to try to delay the trial to a later date. The GOP points of order all largely failed on party lines.”

What the HELL!? Is going on at Joe Biden’s border?: Video Sources

Exclusive: How Biden botched the border Alex Thompson and Stef W. Kight. 2024 2 12. Axios. Biden faces more criticism about the US-Mexico border, one of his biggest problems heading into 2024 Will Weissert and Adriana Gomez. 2023 10 7. AP.

Mayorkas: Executive orders aren’t enough to solve the migrant crisis

““When we take administrative actions as we have done a number of times, we are challenged in court. Legislation is the enduring solution,” Mayorkas told CNN’s Dana Bash. “And by the way, we can, not, through administrative action, plus up the United States border patrol, customs and border protection by 1,500 personnel like this legislation proposes; we cannot through administrative action add 4,300 asylum officers so that we can work through the backlog and turn the system into an efficient and well working one, which it hasn’t been for more than three decades.”

Legislation seems unlikely to pass in a divided Congress, particularly after House Republicans tanked a bipartisan border bill negotiated in the Senate, with Speaker Mike Johnson declaring it dead on arrival.”

‘Zero Illegal Crossings’ Is an Unattainable Goal for the Border

“The U.S. government, for all the money and agents it’s thrown at the border over the past several decades, has never been able to practically “shut down the border” or achieve zero illegal crossings (all the legal issues with those proposals aside).
Between the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 and January 2021, the U.S. has spent $333 billion to fund the agencies tasked with immigration enforcement, according to the American Immigration Council, a pro-immigration nonprofit. The budgets for those agencies have been rising for years.

But more enforcement money hasn’t necessarily led to lower illegal crossings. As budgets have gone up, apprehensions of people who crossed the border between authorized ports of entry have gone up, down, and remained static. In other words, they don’t cleanly align: Though Customs and Border Protection reported 2.05 million apprehensions in FY 2023, it reported somewhat close to that number—over 1.5 million—in FY 2000. Annual apprehensions hovered below 500,000 from FY 2010 through FY 2018.”

“The U.S.-Mexico border stretches nearly 2,000 miles, much of it treacherous. No matter the funding and no matter the enforcement mandate, there’s no way that agents could stop every illegal crosser traversing the deserts, mountains, and waters that make up the border region. That’s proven impossible along much smaller and more surveilled borders, such as the boundaries of East Germany and North Korea.”

The Supreme Court may let Texas get away with a totally unconstitutional deportation law

“For well more than a century, the federal government has enjoyed near exclusive authority over immigration policy, while states have largely been restricted to assisting in carrying out federal policies. The Supreme Court has reinforced this rule many times over many decisions, such as Truax v. Raich (1915), which said that “the authority to control immigration — to admit or exclude aliens — is vested solely in the Federal Government.”
Texas, however, now wants the Supreme Court to abandon this longstanding constitutional rule, and it thinks that the political tumblers have finally aligned in a way that would lead the Court to do just that.

Texas seeks to upend the longstanding balance of power between the federal government and the states through a law, known as SB 4, which allows Texas state courts to issue deportation orders that will be carried out by Texas state officials. The law is now before the Supreme Court in two “shadow docket” cases, known as United States v. Texas and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy v. McCraw.”

“The reason why the federal government has historically had exclusive authority over nearly all questions of immigration policy is to prevent a single state’s mistreatment of a foreign national from damaging US relations with another nation. Indeed, Hines v. Davidowitz (1941) warned that “international controversies of the gravest moment, sometimes even leading to war, may arise from real or imagined wrongs” committed against foreign nationals.

Which isn’t to say that the United States must always treat foreign citizens with caution or deference — just that a decision that could endanger the entire nation’s relationship with a foreign state should be made by a government that represents the entire nation.”

“the current Supreme Court has only a weak attachment to following precedent, especially when a precedent is widely disliked by modern-day Republicans. So there is at least some risk that the Court’s GOP-appointed majority will allow SB 4 to go into effect.”

Why are so many Chinese crossing the southern border?

“The migrants say they are leaving due to a slump in China’s economy as it struggles to rebound from the COVID pandemic, as well as to escape strict lockdowns and restrictions.
“The unemployment rate is very high. People cannot find work,” Xi Yan, a Chinese writer who crossed the border in April, told the Associated Press. “For small business owners, they cannot sustain their businesses.”

In June, China’s unemployment rate for 16-to-24-year-olds reached 21.3%, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Sin Yen Ling, a spokesperson for the Asian American civil rights group Chinese for Affirmative Action, told the Austin American-Statesman that Beijing’s “recent crackdown on industries such as tech, real estate and education where young people have traditionally sought jobs have contributed to the high unemployment rate.”

Visas granted to Chinese nationals to work, visit or study in the U.S. have also become increasingly hard to come by, leading to the spike in finding alternate ways into the country due to recent tensions between China and the U.S.”

Impending Impeachment

“The Cato Institute’s David Bier noted in a blog post earlier this month that the Biden administration has deported a higher share of border crossers than the Trump administration. Trump’s increased detention of migrants did not result in more removals.”

Sen. Lankford says a ‘popular commentator’ threatened to ‘do whatever I can to destroy you’ if he negotiated a border deal during a presidential election year

“Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma spoke on Wednesday about the political challenges he’s encountered while serving as the top GOP negotiator on a bipartisan border security deal.
In a speech shortly before the expected failure of the deal, Lankford bemoaned the fact that some fellow Republicans were objecting to the bill for purely political reasons.

“Some of them have been very clear with me,” Lankford said of his GOP colleagues, “they have political differences with the bill. They say it’s the wrong time to solve the problem. We’ll let the presidential election solve this problem.”

Lankford went on to say that a “popular commentator” — without naming any names — threatened to “destroy” him if he negotiated the deal during a presidential election year, regardless of what was in it.

“I will do whatever I can to destroy you, because I do not want you to solve this during the presidential election,” Lankford recounted the commentator saying.

“By the way, they have been faithful to their promise, and have done everything they can to destroy me,” he added.”