OCTOBER 02, 2009
Under the direction of a Clinton official who orchestrated the pardon of a major-league drug trafficker, the federal agency that oversees lawful immigration is preparing to legalize millions of illegal immigrants.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is getting ready for the huge influx of applications that will bombard the agency when President Obama’s plan to legalize the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal aliens becomes law, according to a major newspaper report.
The agency’s director, Alejandro Mayorkas, says his goal is to be ready to expand rapidly in order to handle the massive increase in visa applications under Obama’s comprehensive immigration reform plan. As the Homeland Security agency responsible for overseeing lawful immigration and granting visas, USCIS is equipped to handle applications from about 6 million immigrants a year.
If Obama’s amnesty measure comes to fruition USCIS could receive that many applications in just a few weeks, according to Mayorkas, who recently distributed $1.2 million in grants to help migrants adjust in America. In order to efficiently handle the increase, Mayorkas is implementing several measures to process applications faster. Among them is a method of receiving visa forms in the mail and another that allows illegal aliens to start the legalization process through a simple mail-in registration form.
One high-ranking Republican lawmaker points out that the agency is risking national security by neglecting its current workload, which includes thorough background checks of visa applicants, to focus on preparing for legislation that hasn’t even been introduced. While this is a valid point, consider who’s running USCIS.
A Clinton U.S. Attorney in California, Mayorkas resigned in shame after arranging the pardon of an Argentine drug dealer serving a 15-year prison sentence for operating a monstrous cocaine ring. The convicted felon, Carlos Vignali, is the son of a wealthy political donor (Horacio Vignali) who convinced influential community leaders—mostly recipients of his generous contributions—to advocate for his son’s pardon.
Mayorkas’ intervention was the most crucial and by far carried the most weight, Clinton officials later revealed. Vignali was one of 140 pardons and 36 commutations that Clinton granted during his last hours as president. Outraged federal prosecutors in Minneapolis, where Vignali was convicted for trying to sell 800 pounds of cocaine, said Mayorkas called them several times inquiring about the case. The Minneapolis federal prosecutors subsequently wrote the Justice Department strongly opposing the commutation but were ignored.
A congressional investigation into Clinton’s last-minute pardons blasts Mayorkas for intervening on behalf of Vignali, pointing out that senior law enforcement and political officials should have been precluded from supporting a commutation for such a criminal.
When Obama named Mayorkas to head the USCIS earlier this year, he conveniently omitted the scandals of his past and instead boasted about his credentials as a prosecutor of public corruption, organized crime and civil rights violations. No mention of getting a serious felon pardoned while serving as U.S. Attorney.
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