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Mayorkas visit to southern border Friday will be closed to the media

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Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas will visit the southern border Friday for a briefing on the influx of the unaccompanied children arriving at the border.

Due to Covid-19 precautions, the trip will not be open to the media and there will be no post-tour press brief.

According to a press release, Mayorkas will arrive in El Paso, Texas with a bipartisan delegation of Senators, including Se. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to view operations and receive a briefing on the processing, shelter and transfer of unaccompanied children arriving at the border.

“We’ll be looking at some of the issues including this huge problem with unaccompanied kids coming across the border,” Portman said to reporters Thursday. “Those numbers have increased even more dramatically to the point that right now we have a true crisis in the detention facilities … We’re gonna talk about that tomorrow and we’ll see some of those facilities.”

The announcement comes after the Biden administration’s reported gag order on border officials.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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BREAKING: Senate votes down both articles of impeachment against Mayorkas in party-line vote

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The Senate voted down two articles of impeachment Wednesday which alleged Department of Homeland Security Secretary  Alejandro Mayorkas engaged in the “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” regarding the southern border in his capacity as DHS secretary. The second claimed Mayorkas had breached public trust.

What resulted in a party-line vote, began with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., proposing a point of order declaring the first article unconstitutional, to which the majority of senators agreed following several failed motions by Republicans. The article was deemed unconstitutional by a vote of 51-48, with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, voting present.

Fox News reports:

Schumer’s point of order was proposed after his request for unanimous consent, which would have provided a set amount of time for debate among the senators, as well as votes on two GOP resolutions and a set amount of agreed upon points of order, was objected to by Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo.

Schmitt stated in his objection that the Senate should conduct a full trial into the impeachment articles against Mayorkas, rather than the debate and points of order suggested by Schumer’s unanimous consent request, which would be followed by a likely successful motion to dismiss the articles. 

Republican senators took issue with Schumer’s point of order, as agreeing to it would effectively kill the first of the two articles. Several GOP lawmakers proposed motions, which took precedence over the point of order, to adjourn or table the point, among other things. But all GOP motions failed. 

After another batch of motions to avoid voting on Schumer’s second point of order, which would deem the second article unconstitutional, the Senate agreed to it. The vote was along party lines 51-49, with Murkowski rejoining the Republicans. 

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