Many on the right and the left would concede that America’s immigration system is broken, but few acknowledge that it is also hopelessly corrupt. There should be little doubt about the immorality at the heart of the immigration and naturalization process following an inspector general report released on Tuesday that alleges at least one ranking Department of Homeland Security official showed “an appearance of favoritism” and granted “special access” to those seeking green cards and visas for immigrants associated with Democrat-linked wealthy investors.
“The No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department meddled in three high-profile immigration cases, giving special treatment to applications from wealthy and well-connected immigrants after calls from major Democrats despite the objections of career employees, the department’s inspector general concluded in a report Tuesday,” The Washington Times reported on Tuesday.
Alejandro Mayorkas, who was elevated from head of the department’s legal immigration agency to be deputy secretary while the investigation was ongoing, also angered many of his colleagues by getting involved in the cases, and “created an appearance of favoritism and special access” for the wealthy immigrants, the inspector general concluded.
Inspector General John Roth said the cases involved major Democrats: former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Sen. Harry Reid, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Anthony Rodham, brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In each case, pressure from those individuals helped earn favorable treatment, Mr. Roth said.
According to ABC News, which had also conducted a series of investigations into the corruption in DHS, immigration officials have also approved visa application to immigrants suspected of fraud, money laundering, and even criminal child abuse. “Several of those cases involved investment projects whose executives had sought and received help from powerful political figures to lobby Mayorkas for support,” ABC reported.
Five different Homeland Security whistleblowers spoke with ABC News about a range of cases where visas were approved despite numerous red flags. They said objections were often ignored because the immigration program is so popular within the Obama Administration and with members of Congress from both parties. As the EB-5 visa program has grown in popularity, the programs critics have become increasingly concerned about the administration’s failure to adequately address abuses that have continued to surface.
What’s more disturbing is the allegation that even those well-connected immigrants with links to narcotics trafficking and espionage were allowed to essentially purchase access to the United States:
Spare a minute to watch this report. It’s enraging.
This is the kind of development that would have helped Republicans in the effort to defund the immigration functions performed by the DHS. It would surely have made it harder for Democrats and the president to contend that Republicans were purely consumed with animus toward immigrants. Instead, the GOP dropped that ball, and they shouldn’t be expected to pick it up anytime soon merely due to the appearance of dangerous favoritism from DHS officials that jeopardizes national security.
If only Republicans had the foresight to follow through with their threat to defund the immigration services performed by DHS, they would have been vindicated today. Instead, the GOP has egg on its collective face.