National Security

DHS Nominee May Have Approved Visas for Applicants Who Posed Security Threat

Alejandro Mayorkas / AP

New information has been released regarding an investigation into Department of Homeland Security deputy secretary nominee Alejandro Mayorkas’ role in helping a company secure international investor visas for foreign investors.

Mayorkas, who is currently the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is being federally investigated for assisting with applications for the agency’s EB-5 visa program, which allows foreign nationals to get a visa if they invest $500,000 to $1 million in a project or business that provides U.S. jobs.

The company in question is Gulf Coast Funds Management, a company run by Anthony Rodham, Hillary Clinton’s brother, that also happens to be the sister company of Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s GreenTech Automotive.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) released documents yesterday obtained from whistleblowers that show that Mayorkas was alerted by an internal USCIS e-mail that all 21 of GreenTech’s pending EB-5 visa applications were on hold for "fraud/national security."

Sen. Grassley raised major concerns that Mayorkas was expediting approval of visas for applicants that he knew could be the cause of a serious security threat.

"I’ve received information and documents from whistleblowers over the last few days, which demonstrate that the director was directly involved in expediting EB-5 applications before the proper security checks," said Grassley. "The FBI has expressed serious national security concerns with foreign investors involved in some of the EB-5 projects that had moved forward.  We need to be sure that the EB-5 program is not only creating economic stimulus and jobs, but that the nation’s security isn’t at risk."

The new information comes at a bad time for Mayorkas, who is having his nomination hearing to be deputy secretary of DHS Thursday.