Friday 28 June 2024

House Votes To Defund Hamas-Supporting DHS Official Over Objections From Dems

 The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to modify a Department of Homeland Security funding bill to reduce the salary of a DHS immigration officer who proudly supports Hamas to $1, after Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has refused to fire her more than eight months after she was exposed by The Daily Wire.

Nejwa Ali worked as a spokeswoman for the Palestinian Liberation Organization, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, only to be hired by DHSafter PLO was banned from Washington. Her job included vetting immigrants, even though she continued to be openly anti-Semitic and motivated by allegiance to Palestine on social media. 

DHS has refused to say whether it knew she worked for the PLO but hired her anyway, or whether it does not even vet the people in charge of vetting migrants.

Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV), the sponsor of the DHS funding bill, offered the amendment on behalf of Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who has sought accountability for anti-Semites.

“Our conference has been quite clear about standing with Israel in their fight against a brutal and inhumane terrorist organization,” he said. Anti-Semitism “certainly has no place in the Department of Homeland Security. A DHS immigration adjudication officer was exposed celebrating the October 7 terrorist attack online. It was later revealed that she previously worked for the Palestinian Liberation Organization.”

Mayorkas put her on paid leave following The Daily Wire’s October story in order to “investigate,” after which Ali confirmed in an audio recording that “I abso-f***ing-lutely celebrate” the Hamas terrorists parachuting into a music festival and opening fire. Since then, she has used her paid vacation to protest outside the Israeli embassy and harass military officials. On social media, when somebody commented on her page, “When you do everything you can to get fired but the boss says NO,” she responded, “hilarious, seriously.”

Amodei said that Mayorkas confirmed within the last two weeks that she is still employed. “This is unacceptable. The Department has had more than eight months to investigate and terminate this employee with cause pursuant to the civil service applicable regulations. While the Secretary in the Biden administration refused to do the right thing, I would invite the members of the House of Representatives to terminate this employee. We must do the right thing and act with urgency to force their hand,” he said.


Lauren Underwood (D-IL), who was making the Democrat case against most Republican amendments on the bill, argued against it, saying “it’s important that we defend the core principles upon which our country is founded, and that includes the system of checks and balances. We know from the secretary’s testimony earlier this year that there is an active investigation related to the Trump-era hire and she’s been placed on leave… We must allow this process to work,” she said.

Although Underwood forced a recorded vote on other amendments, she did not do so for the Ali amendment, and the bill was deemed to have passed the Republican-led chamber based on a voice vote.

Republicans also successfully inserted an amendment, offered by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), to strip Mayorkas himself of his salary.

Republicans sought to use the funding bill to restrict the activities of a DHS that has shifted during the Biden administration from its intended purpose of enforcing immigration law to facilitating the transport of illegal immigrants into the interior of the country.

Rep. Gregory Steube (R-FL) said that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement was using resources from the Department of Veterans Affairs to offer medical care to illegal immigrants, even as the veterans the department was founded to serve were left waiting. His amendment to prevent DHS from using veterans’ funding passed 254-176, with 176 Democrats opposing it and 27 supporting it.

Proceedings became more contentious for other votes. Rep. Thomas Tiffany (R-WI) said DHS has abused a program called “TemporaryProtected Status.”

He said people from El Salvador were allowed to work in the country despite being illegal because El Salvador was granted the temporary status due to a 2001 earthquake. “It is a tool provided by Congress that allows the president, acting through the Department of Homeland Security, to allow foreign nationals to remain temporarily in the United States if conditions in their home country are too dangerous to send them back. The intent was to authorize a short reprieve from removal with the idea that they would be repatriated when conditions improved. This narrow authority has been abused. Nationals of El Salvador were granted TPS in the aftermath of an earthquake. That was in 2001, more than two decades ago,” he said.

“The T in TPS stands for temporary. TPS was never intended to operate to provide rolling amnesty for hundreds of thousands of nationals,” he added.

His amendment to revoke El Salvador’s TPS status failed 190-222, with the votes of every Democrat plus 18 Republicans.

Congress postponed a vote on the underlying DHS bill. Inserting amendments into a must-pass bill makes it more likely that they will become law, but they could be stripped out in the process of reconciling the bill with the Democrat-controlled Senate’s version.

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