The move to overturn what is normally a non-appealable visa decision came despite concerns about “suspicious financial activity” involving some of the visa applicants from Asia, and it ultimately benefited several companies whose executives have donated heavily in recent years to Democrats, the documents show. It also ensnared Mr. Obama’s current nominee to be the No. 2 Homeland Security official, Alejandro “Ali” Mayorkas, whose appointment is to be reviewed by the Senate on Wednesday.
The intervention from Mr. Reid’s staff was so intense at one point a year ago that a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) official reported that it prompted a phone shouting match, turning a normally bureaucratic review process inside the Homeland Security Department into a politically charged drama that worried career officials.
“This one is going to be a major headache for us all because Sen. Reid’s office/staff is pushing hard and I just had a long yelling match on the phone,” USCIS Legislative Affairs official Miguel “Mike” Rodriguez warned in a Dec. 5, 2012, email to Homeland Security Department officials.
The emails, obtained by The Times from government officials concerned that the EB-5 investor visa program has become too politicized, detail how the SLS Hotel, formerly known as the Sahara Casino, tried to jump to the head of the line for its request for about two dozen visas for Asian investors willing to help it fund a major renovation of the storied property on the Las Vegas Strip.
Despite early pressure from Mr. Reid’s staff, career officials inside the Department of Homeland Security initially turned down the SLS Hotel on the grounds that it failed to meet the criteria for expedited review. The decision, dated Dec. 17, 2012, stated flatly that “there is no appeal or reconsideration of this decision.”
But that simply prompted Mr. Reid to personally reach out to the top official at USCIS, Alejandro “Ali” Mayorkas, setting into motion a process that consumed top political officials inside the Homeland Security and Commerce departments and ultimately resulted in a ruling that granted expedited status to the hotel over the objections of career officials.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
"Dingy" Harry Reid Pressures Obama Regime To Overrule DHS On Visas For Vegas Casino Investors
Pressure to overrule Homeland Security for foreign investors to get visas to a politically connected casino/hotel can be added to "Dingy" Harry Reid's history of dirty land deals and alleged bribes (Washington Times).