WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced he will vote against confirming Alejandro Mayorkas as President Biden’s Department of Homeland Security chief, calling him unfit for the role.
In a Tuesday morning tweet, the Kentucky Republican noted that Mayorkas was found guilty of helping expedite visa requests for wealthy foreign investors when he was the department’s deputy chief, according to a 2015 investigation by the Office of Inspector General.
“I’ve voted for several of President Biden’s mainstream cabinet nominees,” McConnell wrote.
“But his choice to run Homeland Security was blasted by the Obama administration’s own Inspector General for running an immigration law favor factory for powerful Democrats. Bad pick with major ethics issues.”
The report found that Mayorkas acted in a manner that concerned colleagues when he intervened in three separate cases to help investors linked to senior Democrats obtain EB-5 visas.
The visas allows foreign nationals to invest at least $900,000 in United States development projects in order to receive green cards,
As head of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Mayorkas reportedly intervened on behalf of investors tied to former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Anthony Rodham, Hillary Clinton’s brother — but did not break the law.
“I do regret the perceptions that my activities created and I take responsibility for those perceptions,” Mayorkas said at a congressional hearing in 2015 where he also denied any wrongdoing.
The Senate will vote later Tuesday on Mayorkas’ confirmation. If confirmed he would be in charge of carrying out Biden’s sweeping immigration reform.
Several other GOP lawmakers, including Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Tom Cotton of Arkansas have indicated they will not vote to confirm Mayorkas but his confirmation is almost certain after Democrats last week voted to override a Republican filibuster and advance his nomination.
Earlier Tuesday, the Senate confirmed former Democratic presidential nominee Pete Buttigieg as Biden’s transportation secretary.