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LaHood and Sorensen split in Secretary Mayorkas impeachment vote

Darin LaHood and Eric Sorensen
U.S. Reps. Darin LaHood, left, and Eric Sorensen represent parts of Bloomington-Normal and Peoria in the House.

The two U.S. House members who represent Bloomington-Normal and Peoria split their votes on the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Rep. Darin LaHood, a Republican from Dunlap, voted in favor of impeachment. LaHood accused Mayorkas of "willfully and systemically refusing to comply with federal immigration laws."

"Under Secretary Mayorkas’ watch, we’ve had over 8 million illegal crossings, 1.7 million known 'gotaways,' and dozens of individuals whose names appear on the terrorist watchlist come through our open border," LaHood said in a statement. "In blue states like Illinois with radical sanctuary city policies, fentanyl abuse has spiked and community resources have been exhausted because of Secretary Mayorkas’ failure to enforce the law.

"While we are compassionate for the many families who seek to come to U.S. for a better life, we must continue to enforce the rule of law and protect our national security. Secretary Mayorkas has systemically refused to comply with federal immigration laws and breached the public’s trust. Therefore, I voted to impeach him," LaHood said.

Rep. Eric Sorensen, a Democrat from Moline, also represents parts of Bloomington-Normal and Peoria. He voted against the impeachment.

“My neighbors sent me to Congress to solve problems," Sorensen said. "We need to pass a bipartisan bill to secure the border. That is why I am working to pass the DIGNITY Act, the only bipartisan, comprehensive border and immigration reform bill that exists in the House. The effort to impeach Secretary Mayorkas is a distraction from solving the real problem. I will continue to work with anyone, Democrat or Republican, that is willing to work together to secure the border and fix our broken immigration system."

Tuesday's impeachment vote was 214-213 in favor. Mayorkas is the first cabinet member to be impeached since 1876. It is highly unlikely that he will be convicted in the Senate or removed from office.

Mia Ehrenberg, a Homeland Security spokesperson, said in a statement that the impeachment was done "without a shred of evidence or legitimate Constitutional grounds."

"House Republicans will be remembered by history for trampling on the Constitution for political gain rather than working to solve the serious challenges at our border," Ehrenberg said.

Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.