The charges against Alejandro Mayorkas, should they be approved by the full House, are all but certain to fizzle in the Democratic-led Senate.

House Republicans have revealed two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, accusing him of failing to uphold the law and breaching public trust in managing the surge of migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. The House Homeland Security Committee leaders outlined their case ahead of a Tuesday meeting to approve charges, aiming for a swift House vote as early as next month. This move represents a significant challenge to President Biden’s immigration policies.

The first article brands the Biden administration’s border policies an official crime, accusing Mayorkas of implementing “catch and release” policies that allow some migrants to stay in the U.S. pending court proceedings. The second article charges him with lying to Congress about border security and obstructing investigations. Despite legal scholars downplaying the charges, Republicans seek to put Mayorkas’s actions on trial, highlighting their dissatisfaction with Biden’s approach to immigration.

Representative Mark Green and Representative Bennie Thompson during an impeachment hearing this month.

The impeachment push coincides with House Republicans rejecting a bipartisan border compromise negotiated by Mayorkas and a group of senators. Former President Trump’s influence is evident as Republicans dismiss the agreement as inadequate, questioning Biden’s commitment to addressing migration issues. The charges against Mayorkas are likely to face resistance in the Democratic-led Senate, requiring a two-thirds majority for conviction and removal.

The move sets the stage for a high-stakes election-year spectacle, with Republicans challenging Biden’s immigration record and Trump aiming to secure the Republican presidential nomination. Democrats argue that Mayorkas acted legally and truthfully, criticizing the impeachment as a political maneuver. The charges emerge as bipartisan efforts in the Senate aim to address border security concerns, making it harder to claim asylum and increasing detention capacity.

If the House approves the charges, Mayorkas would become only the second cabinet secretary in U.S. history to face impeachment. The last instance occurred in 1876 when Secretary of War William W. Belknap, under Ulysses S. Grant, faced allegations of corruption but was ultimately acquitted by the Senate.