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Republicans Use New Audit Against DHS Nominee Republicans Use New Audit Against DHS Nominee Republicans Use New Audit Against DHS Nominee Republicans Use New Audit...

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Defense

Republicans Use New Audit Against DHS Nominee

Senators are expected to vote on Alejandro Mayorkas's nomination to be the department's deputy secretary on Friday.

Coburn has repeatedly voiced his concerns about voting on the nominee while he remains under investigation.(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

photo of Jordain Carney
December 20, 2013

Republican senators on Thursday cited a previously undisclosed audit of a visa program overseen by Alejandro Mayorkas as a reason to delay a vote on his nomination.

Mayorkas has been nominated to be deputy secretary for the Homeland Security Department. Despite the latest argument by Republicans, senators are expected to vote on his nomination Friday morning.

Under Mayorkas, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services "is unable to prevent fraud and national security threats," according to the audit. But DHS officials and Senate Democrats have cast doubt on the report. Christopher Bentley, a spokesman for DHS, told The Washington Post that the 35-page report is "outdated and incomplete."

 

"We are voting to install a nominee that could be seen as unfit to serve in the No. 2 position at DHS, an agency tasked with protecting our country from terrorists," Sen. Tom Coburn said Thursday.

It's not the first time Oklahoma Republican has voiced concerns about the controversial nominee. Coburn, the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, spoke at length before the committee's vote on Mayorkas last week.

An email was sent to lawmakers in July revealing that Mayorkas is under investigation by the Homeland Security Department's Inspector General Office. The investigation is looking into a program run by USCIS—a department Mayorkas has overseen since August 2009. He has denied any wrongdoing, but the investigation isn't expected to be wrapped up until February.

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