G.O.P. Immigration Agenda Faces Stiff Odds in Divided Home

WASHINGTON — Home Republicans, intent on urgent forward with their prime marketing campaign guarantees on immigration, turned a listening to with Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas into an impeachment-focused interrogation and superior restrictive border safety laws on Wednesday, regardless of important G.O.P. opposition that might kill each initiatives on the Home ground.

“You haven’t secured our borders — and Mr. Secretary, I consider you will have achieved so deliberately,” Consultant Mark E. Inexperienced, Republican of Tennessee and the Homeland Safety Committee’s chairman, advised Mr. Mayorkas throughout a listening to earlier than his panel. Republicans on the Judiciary Committee lobbed comparable accusations at Democrats to justify a sequence of latest border insurance policies that may additional limit migrants’ capability to hunt asylum.

Democrats have denounced the Republicans’ parallel efforts to oust Mr. Mayorkas and go laws to clamp down on unlawful border crossings as “political theater,” significantly since there isn’t any viable avenue for both to achieve traction within the Democrat-led Senate.

However the extra fast impediment going through Home G.O.P. leaders lies inside their very own ranks: There usually are not sufficient Republican members but on board with both impeachment proceedings in opposition to Mr. Mayorkas or the border safety laws to keep away from probably embarrassing defeats on the Home ground.

The border invoice “has a protracted technique to go earlier than it hits prime time,” Consultant Tony Gonzales, Republican of Texas, advised reporters this week, warning that it could be foolhardy for G.O.P. leaders to press forward with immigration laws that stood no probability of passing Congress, given the social gathering’s slim majority within the Home.

“On this Congress, 5 votes is 100,” he mentioned.

Immigration is a politically potent subject for many Republicans, who’ve seized on the report ranges of unlawful migration on the southern border; the concurrent spikes in incidents of kid labor, as documented by The New York Occasions; and the Biden administration’s resolution to stop development of the border wall as proof of malfeasance, significantly by Mr. Mayorkas. Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California, has threatened the secretary with potential impeachment, and earlier this month, Mr. Inexperienced advised Republican donors that he would produce a case in opposition to Mr. Mayorkas exhibiting his “dereliction of responsibility.”

On the middle of the G.O.P.’s criticisms of Mr. Mayorkas is an assertion that he lied underneath oath when testifying to a congressional panel in 2022 that the border was safe.

To buttress that time, Republicans have drawn on testimony from Chief Raul L. Ortiz of the Border Patrol, who advised the homeland safety panel final month that the federal government didn’t have operational management of the border, underneath a statutory normal of “the prevention of all illegal entries into the US.”

Mr. Mayorkas has testified that neither he nor the Homeland Safety Division use that definition, and that his and Mr. Ortiz’s statements have been thus not in battle. On Wednesday, he doubled down on his evaluation, testifying that “the border is safe — and we’re working day and evening to make it safer.”

Democrats leaped on the testimony, chastising Republicans for making an attempt to make an impeachment case out of a political disagreement.

“There may be completely nothing that I’ve seen right here in the present day that quantities to a false assertion underneath oath,” mentioned Consultant Dan Goldman of New York, a former prosecutor who led the Home Democrats’ first impeachment case in opposition to Donald Trump.

A small however probably pivotal group of Home Republicans has additionally expressed unease about eradicating Mr. Mayorkas over what these lawmakers suppose is essentially a coverage dispute, not an abuse of workplace. Such Republicans might make or break an impeachment vote, for the reason that G.O.P. can not afford to lose greater than 4 votes on any subject.

“That is actually Joe Biden’s insurance policies, greater than Mayorkas, and are we going to question the president on this? No,” Consultant Don Bacon, Republican of Nebraska, mentioned in an interview.

There’s a comparable simmering mutiny on the margins of the G.O.P. on the subject of efforts to go border safety payments that committee leaders have pledged to placed on the Home ground by early subsequent month.

The Judiciary Committee’s invoice, which superior out of the panel Wednesday evening on a largely party-line vote, has prompted objections from some Republicans over a requirement that employers use a piece eligibility program generally known as E-Confirm. This has alarmed advocates of the farming trade, which depends closely on undocumented immigrant labor. E-Confirm checks paperwork offered by new hires in opposition to Social Safety Administration and Division of Homeland Safety information.

It’s essential to “have a authorized pathway for folks to come back in and be capable to work,” mentioned Consultant Dan Newhouse, Republican of Washington State, himself a farmer, in an interview. He famous that Congress must authorize new immigrant visas alongside mandating E-Confirm to keep away from a devastating blow to the agricultural sector.

Some border-state Republicans like Mr. Gonzales have additionally warned in opposition to severely proscribing authorized pathways into the US.

“We’re in opposition to the chaos, however we’re a bunch that’s in help of authorized immigration,” he mentioned this week.