A House Democrat said he could vote to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over the construction of two 9-meter-high walls on the border with Mexico.
Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) said at a news conference Friday that he could vote for an impeachment resolution if Republicans advance one against Mayorkas, albeit for different reasoning than his GOP colleagues.
While Republicans have criticized Mayorkas and the Biden administration for the large number of undocumented immigrants entering the country, Vargas said he would vote to impeach Mayorkas over the issue of border walls being built at Friendship Park in San Diego.
The park sits on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, according to Border Report, a Nexstar Media Group outlet that focuses on coverage of the US-Mexico border.
The Hill is also owned by Nexstar.
Vargas said he wants Mayorkas and President Biden to halt construction of the walls at Friendship Park, which Border Report says has served as a gathering place for families to gather with a wall between them.
“He told us he would help us, and he didn’t,” Vargas said, referring to Mayorkas. “He betrayed us.”
The outlet reported that US Border Patrol officials have said the existing barriers are crumbling and have become a danger to the public, migrants and agents in the area. They have said that the barriers should be replaced with the new walls.
But Vargas, who represents the area in the House, and other local leaders have expressed concern that the walls will end public access to the area. Vargas said Mayorkas had promised him that construction would be halted.
Construction began a few weeks ago and is expected to be completed within six months, the outlet reported.
The Department of Homeland Security last month hired an outside law firm to help Mayorkas respond to a possible Republican-led impeachment inquiry. Mayorkas has vowed that he will not be pushed out of position by his opponents.
However, Republicans in the House are somewhat divided on the way forward on Mayorkas, as some wanted to impeach Mayorkas immediately after the GOP took control of the House, while others wanted to take their time building a case against him.
Two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas have been filed in the House.
Vargas is the first Democrat to publicly say he is open to an impeachment vote against Mayorkas.
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