- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The White House Wednesday defended the actions of a top administration official who caved to political pressure to approve immigration applications from wealthy foreigners.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas hasn’t been disciplined because he is an exemplary leader who is needed to carry out reforms of the visa program that an independent investigator found he had abused.

Mr. Mayorkas is still at the Department of Homeland Security because he is a decorated public servant and an effective leader of that organization,” Mr. Earnest said.

Inspector General John Roth said Tuesday that Mr. Mayorkas meddled in three cases, creating “an appearance of favoritism and special access.” Those cases involved major Democrats — former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, Sen. Harry Reid, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Anthony Rodham, brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton — who made personal appeals for better treatment.

In each instance, Mr. Mayorkas complied, often immediately after speaking with one of the well-connected Democrats.

Mr. Earnest said people in both parties have asked Mr. Mayorkas for “assistance” in trying to make the EB-5 visa program work better.

“Certainly we would expect the department to do that under the leadership of Mr. Mayorkas,” Mr. Earnest said.

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