Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Ethics complaint targets Harry Reid over casino investors

See also

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the target of an ethics and conflict-of-interest complaint over his involvement in a visa-investor venture, reported Tuesday.

The complaint, filed by the activist group Cause of Action, asserts that the Nevada Democrat intervened with top immigration officials to benefit EB-5 visa seekers. The applicants were law clients of Reid’s son.

Among the officials contacted by Reid was Alejandro Mayorkas, then director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

“Despite the fact that these applications were ineligible for appeal, Sen. Reid’s efforts to lobby USCIS resulted in the reconsideration and approval of these applications, as well as the subsequent securing of millions of dollars in foreign and domestic funds for the (Las Vegas) SLS Hotel & Casino and American Dream Fund EB-5 Regional Center — both of which are major contributors to the Democratic Party,” Cause of Action Executive Director Daniel Epstein wrote.

Mayorkas, recently confirmed by the Senate to be deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, remains under investigation by the DHS Inspector General’s Office over his handling of EB-5 cases. Approved without Republican votes, Mayorkas benefited from Reid’s newly instituted “nuclear option,” which effectively blocks filibusters on confirmations.

The EB-5 program enables foreign nationals to receive green cards in exchange for $500,000 to $1-million investments in participating U.S. companies.

Cause of Action’s letter references a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement memo detailing how the EB-5 program “inherently creates an opportunity for fraud.”

Michael Gibson, managing director of, which consults on EB-5 projects, said he did not find Cause of Action’s claims about Reid “surprising or shocking.”

“It seems like business as usual for D.C.,” he told Watchdog.

“I can understand the users’ and politicians’ frustration with USCIS. They have been slow to add resources to alleviate the backlog, which has been persistent for several years now,” he said.

“What is unfortunate is that it appears that certain groups who are politically connected appear to have a strong influence on the decision making within the agency, especially with the director, and that is not fair to the others who have been waiting longer but are less politically connected.”

Epstein maintains that Reid went beyond the U.S. Senate Code of Official Conduct.

“Urging the expedited approval of a specific set of visa applications that are flagged for ‘suspicious financial activity’ goes beyond ‘urg(ing) prompt consideration,’” stated the complaint filed with the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics.

See the full story here.

RELATED: An audit of the EB-5 program criticized loose congressional direction and found USCIS cannot demonstrate the benefits of foreign investment into the U.S. economy.

To automatically receive for FREE this writer's articles as they are written/published, simply click the "Subscribe" icon atop this page; each of his published works will be sent directly to your email account.



  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!