March 25, 2015

Homeland Security exec used 'improper influence' to favor Reid, McAuliffe

Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas exerted "improper influence" on behalf of three applicants for a federal program that grants residency to foreign investors in U.S. projects, including one with links to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and another to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Mayorkas was then director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency with Homeland Security and made multiple changes in the Employment-Based Fifth Preference program even though it represented a tiny slice of his overall responsibilities in the position, according to the Homeland Security inspector general in a report made public Tuesday.

The government received more than 700 EB-5 applications during his tenure at USCIS, but Mayorkas devoted an unusual amount of attention to applicants in three of the agency's regional centers where decisions were made on applications. The three included the LA Films Regional Center, the Las Vegas Regional Center and the Gulf Coast Funds Management Center.

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