Alejandro Mayorkas, Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security — now coming up for confirmation — was investigated and severely criticized by the DHS Inspector General for helping to get a visa for a vice president of Huawei, the main Chinese technology company that was sanctioned this year by the U.S. for providing software that could be used to spy on American citizens.
The VP of Huawei sought a visa through the EB-5 program that awards visas to foreign companies that invest in the US. The visa was to be in return for its investment in Gulf Coast Funds Management, a company partly headed by Hillary Clinton’s brother Tony Rodham. Gulf Coast sought investment capital under the EB-5 program from Huawei for Green Tech Automotive, a car company owned by former DNC Chairman and Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe.
Mayorkas came under investigation for his role in helping Gulf Coast secure approval to participate in the EB-5 program after it had been turned down by DHS and its appeal was rejected. The Inspector General criticized Mayorkas for creating “the appearance of a conflict of interest.”
At the time, Mayorkas was head of the United State Citizenship and Immigration Services, charged with administering the EB-5 program that offers foreign investors, mainly Chinese, a path to citizenship in return for a $500,000 cash investment that is used to create 10 U.S. jobs.
The Inspector General also criticized Mayorkas for doing the bidding of former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid by expediting the “review of investor petitions involved in funding a Las Vegas hotel and casino notwithstanding the career staff’s original decision not to do so.” The inspector general said “Mayorkas pressured staff to expedite the review. He also took the extraordinary step of requiring staff to brief Senator Reid’s staff on a weekly basis for several months.”
The Mayorkas scandal developed when McAuliffe wanted to build a plant to manufacture electric cars in the U.S. To raise money for the project, he went to China with Bill Clinton and Tony Rodham to speak to potential investors. Huawei, eager to get its top officials into the US and to lift the stigma of having been denied visas, was more than willing to invest in Rodham’s and McAuliffe’s company in return for visas.
Huawei had repeatedly tried to purchase stakes in American telephone and communications companies, only to be denied permission by the Foreign Investment Review Board on national security grounds because of suspected links to the Chinese military. We don’t trust them. And we shouldn’t.
How incredible that Biden would include the Mayorkas appointment in his first batch of nominations. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has vocally criticized Mayorkas over his dealings with Huawei and Tony Rodham. Likely Mayorkas can expect rough sledding in his confirmation hearing.
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