Alejandro Mayorkas is Joe Biden’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security. His nomination was expected to be confirmed.
However, the nomination might already be in jeopardy. Sen. Tom Cotton tweets:
Alejandro Mayorkas was found by Barack Obama’s Inspector General to be guilty of selling Green Cards to Chinese nationals on behalf of rich, democratic donors.
He is disqualified from leading the Department of Homeland Security.
Mayorka should, indeed, be disqualified if he sold Green Cards. A president has the right to be served by those who agree with him ideologically, but not by those who are corrupt.
The Inspector General did not expressly find that Mayorka was corrupt. However, he did find that Mayorka intervened in an extraordinary fashion to procure Green Cards that would not otherwise have been issued. And I believe it’s fair to infer corruption, and certainly impropriety, from the IG’s findings contained in this report.
From Fox News:
The EB-5 visa program, administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), allows foreigners who invest significant money in U.S. business ventures that create jobs for Americans to apply for a green card–or legal permanent residence–in the U.S. Certain family members of the investors may also apply for green cards.
In three EB-5 cases, each involving high-profile Democrats, Mayorkas intervened “outside the normal adjudicatory process” and “in ways that benefited the stakeholders,” the report found.
In one case, Mayorkas “pressured staff” to expedite the review of a Las Vegas hotel and casino investment at the request of then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to the report.
In another, Mayorkas executed an “unprecedented” intervention to help GTA, a company chaired by former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, the report found.
And in a third, he ordered USCIS to reverse a decision to deny EB-5 funding for Sony movie projects in Los Angeles after hearing from former Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, according to the inspector general.
The cases would have been “decided differently” if not for Mayorkas’ intervention, according to the March 2015 report.
“His intervention in these matters created significant resentment in USCIS,” the inspector general wrote, saying that the investigation was triggered after complaints from USCIS staff.
The report indicates that, in the case involving McAuliffe, the investors were Chinese (see page 45).
The Inspector General was “unable to determine Mr. Mayorkas’ motives for his actions” (see page 1). Considering who pressured Mayorka and who benefitted, it’s fair to infer his motives.
Mayorkas tried to persuade the IG that his motive was to improve the EB-5 process or to prevent error. Perhaps he can point to cases where these alleged motives caused him to intervene on behalf of people who lacked the backing of Democratic power brokers. But I doubt it.
Mayorkas testified about this matter before the House Homeland Security Committee in 2015. He proved to be a weasel with this all-too-familiar bogus claim to be accepting responsibility:
The [Department of Homeland Security] Inspector General found that… employees perceived I exercised undue influence in these cases. I bear responsibility for the perception of my employees. That is my responsibility and I acknowledge that.
In other words, Mayorkas took responsibility for “the perception of my employees,” not for being a tool of Harry Reid, Terry McAuliffe, and Ed Rendell. And not for doing what the inspector general said he did — “deviating from the regulatory scheme designed to ensure fairness and evenhandedness in adjudicating benefits [and] creating an appearance of favoritism and special access.”
If Republicans maintain control of the Senate, the likes of Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski will have to decide whether the kind of behavior described by the IG is acceptable in the person responsible for running the Department of Homeland Security. I think it obviously is not.