Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton said Wednesday that President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security should be disqualified from consideration because of allegations that he intervened during the Obama administration to help prominent Democrats who sought visas for their wealthy Chinese business partners.
“That is disqualifying to lead the Department of Homeland Security,” Cotton, a Republican, said in an interview on Fox Business regarding Alejandro Mayorkas.
Biden announced Mayorkas as his choice for homeland security chief on Tuesday.
Cotton cited a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general released March 24, 2015, that said Mayorkas had “exerted improper influence” on the EB-5 visa process when he served as director of U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS). (RELATED: Mayorkas ‘Exerted Improper Influence’ In Visa Program For Rich Foreign Investors)
The report said that Mayorkas personally intervened to help former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe and Tony Rodham, the brother of Hillary Clinton, with applications they filed for the EB-5 program on behalf of their company, GreenTech Automotive.
USCIS grants green cards under the EB-5 program to foreign nationals who invest at least $500,000 in American companies.
The IG report said that career officials at USCIS initially rejected GreenTech’s application to take part in the EB-5 program, but that Mayorkas intervened after having contact with McAuliffe and Rodham.
USCIS eventually granted EB-5 status to the company.
In 2017, thirty-two Chinese investors sued McAuliffe and Rodham for fraud, claiming they were scammed out of $17 million.
They accused McAuliffe and Rodham of promising to “leverage” their “political connections” to help them obtain green cards for investments in GreenTech, which declared bankruptcy in 2018.
The IG report also said that Mayorkas helped a casino seeking EB-5 status following conversations in early 2013 with then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. Reid’s son was a lawyer for the casino seeking EB-5 approval, the IG report said.
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. pic.twitter.com/8XsPdvn30G
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) November 25, 2020
Cotton asserted that Mayorkas was “guilty of selling green cards to Chinese nationals on behalf of rich Democratic donors.”
Despite Cotton’s claim, Mayorkas has not been accused of personally profiting off of his contacts with McAuliffe, Rodham and Reid.
“Mayorkas communicated with stakeholders on substantive issues, outside of the normal adjudicatory process, and intervened with the career USCIS staff in ways that benefited the stakeholders,” the IG report said.
Cotton’s remarks suggest that Mayorkas could face a contentious confirmation hearing next year.
Mayorkas faced stiff Republican opposition in 2013, when President Obama nominated him to serve as deputy secretary of DHS. Republicans sought to block his confirmation because of the ongoing inspector general investigation.
Some Republicans will likely oppose Mayorkas because of his role in developing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which granted green cards to illegal aliens who arrived in the U.S. as children.
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