GOP Donors Lobby Senate Republicans to Support Joe Biden’s DHS Nominee

President-elect Joe Biden's Homeland Security Secretary nominee Alejandro Mayorkas speaks at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

A number of millionaire and billionaire Republican donors are lobbying Senate Republicans to support the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas, Democrat Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Mayorkas helped lead the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency for President Obama when fraud protections were eliminated and migration flows were maximized.

Biden’s choice of Mayorkas has sparked questions and criticism around his handling of USCIS, where Obama’s Inspector General (IG) found that he had improperly intervened to secure EB-5 visas for wealthy foreign nationals with whom he had political ties.

John Rowe, a billionaire GOP donor associated with the American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) told the Associated Press that he is lobbying Senate Republicans to get behind Mayorkas:

Mayorkas may yet get some Republican support, which Biden may need if the Democrats don’t win the two seats in the Georgia Senate runoff; Republicans only need to win one to maintain their control of the Senate. [Emphasis added]

John Rowe, a prominent GOP donor who co-chairs the business immigration coalition and favors a more welcoming attitude toward immigrants, said he planned to speak with several Republican senators to urge them to support Mayorkas. [Emphasis added]

“This is an easy vote,” said Rowe, the former CEO of Exelon Corp. “Some of the other immigration votes are not that easy for Republicans who have to go home to primaries. No one is going to lose their seat because they vote to confirm Mayorkas.”

Rowe has given huge sums of money, including nearly $40,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, in the last two years.

Likewise, Mike Fernandez, a billionaire Miami, Florid, donor to Jeb Bush, authored an endorsement of Mayorkas in the Sun-Sentinel:

Former Deputy Secretary Mayorkas is a known quantity who’s proven his ability to work with all concerned and find solutions in the best interest of everyone involved. He has proven he possesses the intelligence, integrity and skills to carry out the mission of the Department of Homeland Security: “safeguard the American people, our homeland and our values.” [Emphasis added]

ABIC’s executive committee, made up almost entirely of GOP donors, have issued a letter in Mayorkas’ support:

As business leaders, we have worked closely with Mayorkas when he was director of USCIS, and we know him to be an effective leader with deep professionalism and integrity. On the issue of naturalization, he reduced backlogs and created professional and transparent systems that kept naturalization affordable through fee waivers for working poor immigrants. Mr. Mayorkas also stood up the DACA program in a period of 60 days, running a problem-free program that is now one of President Obama’s signature policies. As Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Mr. Mayorkas ran a department that professionally and speedily processed a wide range of visas essential to our business community, including high-skilled, entrepreneur, agriculture, and temporary worker visas. [Emphasis added]

Former Deputy Secretary Mayorkas has our deepest respect for his relentless leadership, and we believe that he possesses the intelligence, integrity, and skills to carry out your policy priorities. Thank you for your consideration of our experience and support for him. Please let us know if you have any questions, and we would be more than happy to discuss our recommendation. [Emphasis added]

Signatories of the ABIC letter supporting Mayorkas include GOP donors Bill Kunkler, who gave more than $20,000 to Republicans this year, and Woody Hunter, who gave nearly $60,000, alone, to the National Republican Congressional Committee this year.

Thus far, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has said he will not support Mayorkas’ nomination.

“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. “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.

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