President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas, defended his actions as former head of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in which he was found to have “improperly” intervened to secure EB-5 visas for wealthy foreign investors.
During a confirmation hearing this week, Mayorkas was questioned by a number of Senate Republicans for his intervening on behalf of wealthy foreign investors who wanted EB-5 visas for themselves and family members during the Obama administration.
The EB-5 visa program allows wealthy foreign nationals to claim to invest at least $900,000 in U.S. development projects in order to receive green cards for themselves and their families with eventual pathways to American citizenship.
The EB-5 foreign 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 USCIS staffers for intervening in three specific EB-5 visa cases where foreign investors had been denied visas. In 2015, Obama’s DHS IG John Roth documented the inappropriate actions.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) asked Mayorkas about the IG report, to which the former DHS deputy secretary said it was his responsibility to “fix problems” and that he had intervened in “hundreds of cases” while leading USCIS.
“These weren’t the only three cases I was involved in,” Mayorkas said. “There were dozens and dozens.”
According to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), though, Mayorkas previously told Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that he had never intervened in visa cases while at USCIS.
“I became involved in a lot of cases …. and I did my job,” Mayorkas told Johnson. “I learned of problems and I fixed them.”
Mayorkas said he learned that he must “better guard against the perception” of favoritism in visa programs where he intervenes in cases on behalf of applicants.
The group White Collar Workers of America, which advocates on behalf of American workers against U.S. job outsourcing, slammed Mayorkas for claiming to have merely fixed problems when asked about the IG report.
“Does Alejandro Mayorkas sound like someone who should be put in charge of DHS, or any other federal agency for that matter,” the group said in a series of posts.
Already, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has said he will oppose Mayorkas’s confirmation. Mayorkas’s confirmation is a priority of corporate special interests and the donor class who have lobbied lawmakers to vote in support of his nomination.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.