GRILLED: Alejandro Mayorkas’ leadership at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services triggered an investigation. He won confirmation to be deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security without a single Republican vote.
By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Eric Holder is on his way out, and the New York Post reports that President Obama is considering a surprising replacement: Alejandro Mayorkas, the man who oversaw a controversial immigrant visa program at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“Alejandro Mayorkas created a dangerous ‘get to yes’ culture at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, where rubber-stamping green cards took precedence over doing adequate background checks or addressing employee’s concerns about fraud,” said Bob Dane, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
Mayorkas would face an uphill battle in senate confirmation hearings. A federal investigation into Mayorkas’ leadership at USCIS prompted senate Republicans to boycott his confirmation as deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security earlier this year.
“Were the president to nominate Mayorkas, he would absolutely guarantee a nasty confirmation battle,” said David North, a policy analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies.
Sen. Charles Grassley, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote numerous letters to Mayorkas seeking answers about the USCIS-administered EB-5 program, which grants U.S. green cards to foreign nationals in exchange for investments in American businesses.
“Given the number of letters addressed to him which remain unanswered from his time at USCIS, I would have some real concerns with the nomination,” Grassley told Watchdog in a statement.
Last December, the Iowa senator blasted Mayorkas, citing “evidence (that) appears to support allegations that Mr. Mayorkas and his leadership team … are susceptible to political pressure and favoritism.”
Grassley said documents “appear to show (Mayorkas) intervening in an EB-5 decision involving Gulf Coast Funds Management, an organization run by Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony Rodham.”
“This decision benefited GreenTech Automotive, a company run by Terry McAuliffe that was receiving funding from Gulf Coast Funds Management,” the senator said.
Obama has pledged to nominate an attorney general and take another run at immigration reform this fall.
Dane sees Mayorkas at the center of the action, alleging that the former USCIS director “retooled the agency to accommodate the president’s backdoor amnesty for tens of thousands of illegal aliens.”
“Same fox, different henhouse,” Dane said of a move to the Department of Justice.
Mayorkas is getting a friendly push from the National Fraternal Order of Police, according the Post.
NFOP President Chuck Canterbury wrote an Oct. 31 letter on behalf of Moyorkas and sent it to Obama, the Post reported.
“The FOP enthusiastically supported his nomination to his current post as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and it has been a true pleasure working with him in that capacity over the last year,” Canterbury wrote. “We have no doubt that Mr. Mayorkas has the requisite ability and experience to lead the U.S. Justice Department and meet the challenges in the years ahead.”
Other candidates believed to be under consideration are Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District; Solicitor General Donald Verrilli; and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.