On Sunday, Sara Carter appeared on the Fox News program “The Next Revolution” with Steve Hilton, where she slammed the reputation of President-elect Joe Biden‘s nominee for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas, when he used to run U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during the Obama administration.
Mayorkas was chided by the DHS Inspector General in 2015 for his actions during his time as head of USCIS in which whistleblowers accused him of giving three wealthy Chinese nationals preferential treatment for EB5 visas.
Sen. Tom Cotton called out the potential nominee on Twitter last week stating “In 2015, Mayorkas appeared before the House Homeland Security Committee to testify that he had pushed some Chinese nationals with connections to top Democratic lawmakers through the US EB5 visa program, following an Inspector General report.”
Here’s a statement from the Inspector General’s report:
“Regardless of Mr. Mayorkas’ motives, his intervention in these matters created significant resentment in USCIS,” stated the Inspector General’s report. “This resentment was not isolated to career staff adjudicating within the EB-5 program, but extended to senior managers and attorneys responsible for the broader USCIS mission and programs.”
USCIS “has had enormous problems, going back years,” Carter said, adding that she covered the DHS for years. She then brought up whistleblowers and how they were reportedly treated during his tenure at USCIS.
“Whistleblowers have been harmed, whistleblowers that came forward to even report on Mr. Mayorkas were terrified of doing so because they were afraid of repercussions,” Carter said.
“Imagine what it’s going to be like having him head the Department of Homeland Security,” Carter continued. “Imagine what people inside the department are going to be fearing when a person like that is in charge.”
Mayorkas was nominated last week alongside a slate of other foreign policy and national security officials, with Biden this week focusing on appointing economic officials. If confirmed by the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate, he would become the first Latino and first immigrant to ever head the DHS, an agency with a critical role in U.S. immigration policy.
Mayorkas served as the director of USCIS from 2009 to 2013, when he became the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security and served in the post until 2014. In 2016, he became a parter at a Washington, DC-based law firm called William Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Returns After 7-Year Journey with Asteroid Samples
After a remarkable seven-year voyage spanning nearly 4 billion miles in space, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is set to make its triumphant return to Earth on Sunday. OSIRIS-REx, an acronym for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer, was launched in 2016 on a groundbreaking mission to collect material from an asteroid in space.
The capsule, holding a precious cargo of nearly 9 ounces of rocks, dust, and dirt gathered from the asteroid Bennu, will detach from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft before making an anticipated landing inside the Defense Department’s Utah Test and Training Range. According to reports from Fox News, teams from NASA and Lockheed Martin, the vehicle’s builder, will eagerly await its arrival.
Describing the precision required for this endeavor, OSIRIS-REx Deputy Project Manager Michael Moreau likened it to a challenging game of accuracy, stating, “It’s like putting a dart board at one end of a basketball court and throwing the dart from the other end and getting a bull’s-eye.”
This years-long mission holds significant scientific importance. It will aid researchers in investigating the formation of planets, shed light on the origins of life, and enhance NASA’s understanding of asteroids that could pose potential threats to Earth.
Furthermore, the collected sample is expected to offer “generations of scientists a window into the time when the Sun and planets were forming about 4.5 billion years ago,” according to NASA.
Moreover, the mission could contribute crucial information to Earth’s defense against a potential collision with Bennu, an asteroid roughly the size of the Empire State Building. NASA estimates a 1-in-2,700 chance of Bennu impacting Earth in the latter half of the 2100s.
The journey leading up to this momentous return has been a long and meticulous one. OSIRIS-REx arrived at Bennu in 2018 and spent two years closely orbiting the asteroid, gathering vital data.
In 2020, the spacecraft made history with a successful landing on Bennu’s surface, collecting a “touch and go” sample in under a minute. Despite an initial setback due to a jammed door that led to the loss of some space dust, the sample collected still surpasses the mission’s requirement of two ounces.
Once the capsule safely touches down in the Utah desert, a dedicated NASA team will transport the precious material to a meticulously clean environment. Subsequently, the Bennu samples will find their way to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Approximately 70% of the asteroid material will be preserved for future research endeavors, allowing scientists worldwide to delve into its mysteries. Additionally, a portion of the sample will be shared with the Japanese Space Exploration Agency as part of an exchange for samples collected by Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft.
Looking ahead, OSIRIS-REx is set to continue its mission by studying another asteroid named Apophis, named after a demon serpent in ancient Egyptian mythology, symbolizing evil and chaos. This ambitious mission marks another chapter in humanity’s ongoing exploration of our solar system and beyond.
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