Immigration Law Weekly, a publication for immigrant rights lawyers, said this week that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is acting in an “anti-immigrant” manner and should be impeached.
ILW’s publisher, Sam Udani, also wants U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ur Jaddou fired for failing to move quickly enough to restore a special visa for wealthy investors.
“What we are suggesting is they need to understand something is seriously wrong,” Mr. Udani told The Washington Times. “I don’t know any other way of getting their attention.”
Until now, discussion of Mr. Mayorkas’ impeachment has come from Republicans on Capitol Hill, who have accused the secretary of abandoning his role as gatekeeper of the country’s borders.
Mr. Udani and ILW, though, say immigrant rights backers should consider joining forces to make clear that dissatisfaction runs deeper than conservative circles, albeit for different reasons.
They say USCIS, which administers the immigration legal system, bungled the updated EB-5 visa, also known as the “golden visa,” because it allows wealthy foreigners to obtain green cards by ponying up cash for job-producing enterprises in the U.S.
The program was updated and overhauled in the massive spending bill President Biden signed in March. Mr. Udani said the Homeland Security Department botched the rollout with a process that could add years to the wait for fully restarting the EB-5 program.
That means fewer foreign investors and therefore fewer jobs in the U.S., ILW said in a piece published Tuesday in its Immigration Daily newsletter. ILW said the blame falls on Ms. Jaddou and Mr. Mayorkas for “acting in an anti-immigrant manner by denying immigrant families the chance to obtain lawful immigration benefits.”
“USCIS is the embodiment of incompetence, inefficiency and sloth,” the publication said. It speculated on whether the bungling was a result of malice or incompetence and then offered the answer: “It could be both.”
Neither Homeland Security nor USCIS responded to inquiries on ILW’s impeachment stance.
House Republicans already had their eye on impeachment proceedings against Mr. Mayorkas over his handling of the border. Rep. Andy Biggs, Arizona Republican, drew up articles of impeachment.
Those have gone nowhere in the Democratic-controlled House, but Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, said last week that impeachment would be on the table if his party wins control of the chamber in the November elections.
Mr. Mayorkas told CNN on Sunday that he was not concerned.
“I am focused on mission and supporting our incredible workforce,” he said.
Mr. Mayorkas and Ms. Jaddou may seem like odd targets for accusations of being anti-immigrant. He was born in Cuba, and his family fled when he was a child. She has an immigrant mother from Mexico and an immigrant father from Iraq.
Mr. Udani said he has always considered Mr. Mayorkas a “straight-shooter.”
ILW, which bills itself as the leading immigration law publication, acknowledged it was echoing impeachment calls from Republicans. The publication said it saw a political advantage to joining forces.
“Adding a count of impeachment of being anti-immigrant would offer strategic advantages to the Republican Party, and may even bring a Democrat or two on board, making the impeachment bipartisan,” the publication concluded.
Rosemary Jenks, vice president at NumbersUSA and a longtime critic of Mr. Mayorkas, said she agreed with ILW on the call for impeachment, “though for very different reasons.”
“On the other hand, I’m pleased that USCIS Director Jaddou has finally found a category of immigrants, EB-5, she is not willing to rubber stamp, regardless of the law,” Ms. Jenks said.
She said the investor visa industry should have expected a long and complicated process for approvals to emerge out of the negotiations on the reforms in the March law.
“I just hope Secretary Mayorkas doesn’t use his position to bypass the new EB-5 rules in order to help political allies, as he did during the Obama administration,” Ms. Jenks said.
That was a reference to findings by an inspector general who said Mr. Mayorkas, while head of USCIS from 2009 to 2013, intervened to approve questionable EB-5 applications connected to projects backed by major Democratic Party figures.
The inspector general concluded that Mr. Mayorkas was deceitful in explaining his involvement.
Mr. Mayorkas has vehemently rebutted those accusations.