Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary, did not take time for a victory lap after surviving a chaotic impeachment vote in the House this week. He hopped a flight to Las Vegas, where he outlined security preparations for the Super Bowl.
Impeachment, he insisted on Wednesday, was not at the top of his mind.
“The allegations are baseless and I’m focused on the work,” Mr. Mayorkas told reporters who peppered him with questions about the proceedings back in Washington the day before.
After three years on the job, Mr. Mayorkas has learned to keep his head down through the drama, his confidants say. That skill could come in handy again soon, as House Republicans plan a second attempt at impeaching a man who has become the face of one of the most divisive topics in American politics: the southern border.
“I think this is unpleasant for him and his family, but he’s singularly focused on his job,” said Cecilia Muñoz, head of the White House Domestic Policy Council during the Obama administration. “For anyone that knows him at all, that’s not surprising.”
Mr. Mayorkas, 64, has come under fire from the moment he stepped into his role, particularly from Republicans who see chaos at the border as a useful political strategy in their efforts to capture the White House in 2024.
He has testified in front of Congress in public hearings more than two dozen times, the most of any member of President Biden’s cabinet, as the number of people crossing into the United States has reached record levels. He is also the first Latino to run the department; his family fled to the United States when he was a year old, escaping the communist rise in Cuba.
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