Former Vice President Joe Biden’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agency, Alejandro Mayorkas, improperly helped secure visas for wealthy foreign investors when he served as deputy secretary at the agency under former President Barack Obama, according to the DHS Inspector General (IG).
In 2015, Obama’s DHS IG John Roth concluded in an investigation that Mayorkas had in fact acted improperly when he intervened seemingly on behalf of wealthy foreign investors trying to secure EB-5 visas in three separate construction projects.
The EB-5 visa program allows wealthy foreign nationals to claim to invest at least $900,000 in United States development projects in order to receive green cards for themselves and their family with eventual pathways to American citizenship.
The foreign EB-5 investor’s only requirement is to claim to have created ten U.S. jobs and revitalize “distressed” areas. Those areas, though, are often in wealthy zip codes to build luxury shopping centers and condos for the wealthiest of Americans. The program effectively sells American citizenship to the highest foreign bidders.
As Breitbart News has reported, 10,000 foreign nationals and their families are allowed to enter the U.S. every year on the EB-5 visa. The overwhelming majority of EB-5 visas are rewarded to China’s elite — driving a migration of rich Chinese to cities across the country.
Mayorkas, while deputy secretary at DHS, was reported by multiple staffers at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency for intervening in three specific EB-5 visa cases where foreign investors had been denied visas.
In each of the cases, Roth discovered that Mayorkas seemingly intervened on behalf of the foreign investors in order to appeal the decisions and secure them visas, as noted in the DHS IG report:
In one specific case detailed by Roth, Mayorkas intervened in an instance where foreign investors had been denied EB-5 visas by USCIS officials in a development project funding movies by Sony Pictures. More than 200 foreign investors sought EB-5 visas, claiming to invest in the movies, but USCIS officials did not see how the projects fit the program’s requirements.
Mayorkas was in contact during this time with those involved with the Sony Pictures project. Months later, the EB-5 visas were approved for the foreign investors, the DHS IG report states:
In another case mentioned by Roth, Mayorkas intervened to have USCIS officials reverse their denial of EB-5 visas to foreign investors claiming to invest in an electric car manufacturing project that the former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) was involved with. Some of those investors were from China.
Mayorkas’ intervention in the case was “unprecedented,” according to the DHS IG report:
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has blasted Biden’s nomination of Mayorkas, specifically in regards to his involvement in the EB-5 visa scandal.
“He was found by Barack Obama’s inspector general to be guilty of selling green cards to Chinese nationals on behalf of rich Democratic donors,” Cotton said last week. “Think about that. Selling citizenship to well-connected Chinese nationals on behalf of Democratic Party donors. That is disqualifying to lead the Department of Homeland Security.”
Mayorkas’ nomination to head DHS would go before the Senate Homeland Security Committee which Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is likely to lead.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.