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Chairman Green, Homeland Republicans Demand Answers From Secretary Mayorkas on Former PLO Spokesperson, Anti-Semitic DHS Officer 

October 23, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) led Homeland Republicans in demanding answers from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas regarding the employment of Nejwa Ali, a former Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) spokesperson who publicly espoused anti-Semitic language and expressed support for the “downfall” of Israel following the October 7 terrorists attacks by Hamas. Read more in the Washington Times.

Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability Chairman Dan Bishop (R-NC), Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Chairman August Pfluger (R-TX), and Subcommittee on Border Security and Enforcement Chairman Clay Higgins (R-LA) joined Chairman Green in requesting information and documents related to the Department’s vetting and screening process for Ms. Ali’s role as both an asylum and adjudications officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), information on Ms. Ali’s administrative leave, and documents showcasing her work in those roles to assess any credible fear claims, asylum claims, or benefit adjudications for Jewish or Palestinian applicants.

In the letter, the Chairmen write,“According to recent reports, Ms. Ali, who is currently an adjudications officer at USCIS, has a troubling history of posting extremist rhetoric on her social media accounts. Her rhetoric intensified on October 7, 2023, when the terrorist group, Hamas, launched a brutal, surprise attack on Israel during a major Jewish holiday. Ms. Ali made several posts glorifying the attacks on Israel, including a post with a photograph of an armed terrorist. This is an apparent effort to celebrate Hamas terrorists who utilized paragliders to descend into Israel to murder innocent civilians.”

The Chairmen continue,“The Department must ensure all DHS employees—and especially those in security- related positions—demonstrate objectivity and impartiality and not call into question DHS’s work. Ms. Ali’s antisemitic statements show that she cannot meet this critical standard. On October 12, 2023, you delivered a keynote address at the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, where you spoke about the [Biden] Administration’s commitment to confronting anti-Semitic violence in our country, and to highlight our first-ever National Strategy to Counter Anti- Semitism. Your keynote address claimed that DHS is committed to confronting antisemitic violence. At the same time, DHS was employing an individual who apparently champions violence against Israel and innocent Israeli civilians, while also supporting Hamas.”

The Chairmen conclude, “Following Wednesday’s media reports about Ms. Ali, according to a message from USCIS spokesperson Mr. Matthew Bourke, she was reportedly placed on administrative leave. The Department’s or USCIS’ sudden personnel decisions related to Ms. Ali suggest that the Department’s hiring officials were previously unaware of or ignored Ms. Ali’s background. As the agency tasked with safeguarding the American people, our values, and our homeland, the Department must ensure its employees seek to serve that mission. The Department also must hold its employees to the highest ethical standards and implement safeguards to protect against bias and conflicts of interest.”

Read the full letter here.