U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today called on Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to hold the department’s deputy secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, accountable for granting favoritism to politically connected parties. Grassley’s comments follow an Inspector General report indicating that Mayorkas personally intervened to reverse unfavorable decisions for EB-5 applications submitted by politically connected organizations.
“The U.S. immigration system should be governed by equal application of the law, not by who has the best political connections to the director of the agency. Unfortunately, this report seems to indicate that, under Mr. Mayorkas’ leadership of the EB-5 program, this hasn’t been the case.
“I’ve heard from numerous whistleblowers about the execution of the EB-5 program, and have been trying to get answers for several years. I even pleaded with the Democratic majority at the time to postpone Mr. Mayorkas’ confirmation to be second in command at the department until this investigation was complete. They didn’t listen, and my questions were never adequately answered,” Grassley said.
In a letter to Secretary Johnson, Grassley reiterated Mayorkas’ guidance that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees should impartially perform their duties—guidance that Mayorkas himself has violated.
The EB-5 program allows foreigners to obtain U.S. visas in exchange for an investment of at least $500,000 in an American business or project, with the goal of stimulating the economy. The program, up for reauthorization this year, has been the subject of scrutiny for weaknesses that pose national security risks.
A signed copy of Grassley’s letter can be found by clicking here.