12.11.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Nomination Of Alejandro Mayorkas To Be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee reported out the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The position has not had a Senate-confirmed leader since April.]

“I applaud Chairman Carper and members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for approving the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas, a nominee who would fill an important role at the Department of Homeland Security. This nomination deserves consideration by all Senators, and that consideration should not be delayed by a highly questionable investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General.  It is unfortunate that like Director Mayorkas’ confirmation hearing, a majority of Republican Senators declined to attend today’s business meeting and discuss the issues about which they claim to be concerned. 

“It is also unfortunate that Republicans are using a seriously flawed review of Director Mayorkas’s performance at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to obstruct his nomination. The conduct of the Deputy Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security relative to his investigation of Director Mayorkas, including the Deputy Inspector General’s public disclosure of sensitive information about the investigation and his failure even to interview Director Mayorkas, severely undermines the legitimacy of the investigation. In my view, this flawed investigation does not merit the delay of Director Mayorkas’ confirmation process. 

“Finally, I appreciate Chairman Carper’s recognition of the bipartisan work the Judiciary Committee has done, in cooperation with USCIS, to improve the job-creating EB-5 Regional Center Program.  Significant reforms were passed as part of the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform legislation and approved unanimously by the Judiciary Committee.  Those who want to see these reforms enacted should join me in calling on the House to take up the Senate-passed comprehensive immigration bill.”

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