(Washington, DC) Congressman David Young (R-Iowa) questioned Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson yesterday as he appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.
The Congressman’s questioning centered on the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) independent report of the EB5 program which revealed that DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas took improper action related to three immigration visa cases. The report showed that former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Sen. Harry Reid, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, and Anthony Rodham, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s brother, all made personal appeals for preferential treatment, to which Mayorkas acted upon.
The OIG Report stated that in each of the three cases, Mayorkas was in contact with career United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) staff to facilitate the requests that were made. In each of these three instances, the report indicates that the intervention from Mayorkas directly impacted the outcome.
Congressman Young said, “I am deeply troubled by the report. I would like to believe that Deputy Secretary Mayorkas is smarter than this – how could he directly meddle in these visa requests for these pretty well-connected folks and think it would not be noticed?”
When Young asked Secretary Johnson how Mayorkas will earn the confidence and trust back of the whistle blowers who shared this information, he shared that a new protocol and directive have been issued and lessons were learned, but no other actions were taken.
Young was not satisfied and continued, “What are those lessons? Are you going to take any action on Mayorkas? His actions were quite a deviation from the norm, out of 700 regional center applications, he got involved in three, and again, these folks are pretty well-connected. How is Mayorkas going to regain the trust of these whistleblowers?”
Listen to the audio below: