Alejandro Mayorkas
Alejandro MayorkasREUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

The US House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the US-Mexico border issue, The Associated Press reported.

In a historic rebuke, the House impeached Mayorkas by a narrow majority of 214-213, making the Homeland Security Secretary the first Cabinet secretary facing charges in nearly 150 years.

President Joe Biden said in a statement released after the vote, “History will not look kindly on House Republicans for their blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship that has targeted an honorable public servant in order to play petty political games.”

Mayorkas faced two articles of impeachment filed by the Homeland Security Committee arguing that he “willfully and systematically” refused to enforce existing immigration laws and that he breached the public trust by lying to Congress and saying the border was secure.

Critics of the impeachment effort said the charges against Mayorkas amount to a policy dispute over Biden’s border policy, hardly rising to the Constitution’s bar of high crimes and misdemeanors.

The charges against Mayorkas would next go to the Senate for a trial, but neither Democratic nor Republican senators have shown interest in the matter and it may be indefinitely shelved to a committee, according to AP.

Tuesday’s vote came a week after a failed vote on the impeachment, in which three Republican representatives broke ranks over the move.

Never before has a sitting Cabinet secretary been impeached. Nearly 150 years ago, the House voted to impeach President Ulysses S. Grant’s secretary of war, William Belknap, over a kickback scheme in government contracts. He resigned before the vote.