Top Homeland Security Pick Alejandro Mayorkas Under Investigation

on July 23 2013 11:32 PM

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas, President Barack Obama’s top choice for the Department of Homeland Security’s deputy secretary, is under investigation by the same department for his role in helping a company get an international investor visa for a Chinese citizen.

Reuters reports that Mayorkas, who is set to become the No. 2 at Homeland Security, was involved in helping obtain an investor visa for a Chinese national who invested in Gulf Coast Funds Management, a financial firm run by Anthony Rodham, brother to Hillary Clinton. The application was denied twice until Mayorkas stepped in.

It’s unclear exactly what crimes Mayorkas is being investigated for, but for the time being, it appears he is in the clear with the Department of Homeland Security.

"At this point in our investigation, we do not have any findings of criminal misconduct," read an email from Homeland Security inspector general to NBC News. "We are unaware of whether Mayorkas is aware that we have an investigation."

The Associated Press reports that under the EB-5 program, foreign citizens who invest $500,000 to $1 million in businesses that create jobs for U.S. citizens can obtain a special investor visa. The amount of money necessary to obtain a visa varies depending on the scope of the project in question. After two years, investors with the program can become legal residents and later citizens.

Mayorkas is set to appear in before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs on Thursday to take part in a hearing on his nomination as deputy secretary.

Cuban-born Mayorkas became the Citizenship and Immigration Services director in 2009. During confirmation hearings for that job, he was criticized for lobbying President Bill Clinton to pardon a drug dealer whose father donated significant amounts of money to the Democratic Party.

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