Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas became visibly agitated when asked at a Senate committee hearing Tuesday about The Daily Wire’s exposé that his department employs a former Palestinian Liberation Organization spokeswoman who has praised Hamas.
Mayorkas told Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) that immigration officer Nejwa Ali remains employed, and would not explain why. Instead Mayorkas ignored the question and told Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI) he would be disregarding the Senate’s time limit, and proceeded to launch into a personal attack against Hawley.
Hawley asked Mayorkas if foreigners who come to the United States to attend college, then chant for the destruction of Israel, should have their visas revoked. Mayorkas would not answer, so Hawley asked him about someone who Mayorkas has more immediate discretion over: one of his own employees.
At the hearing of the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, Hawley presented Mayorkas with posters of some of Ali’s statements on social media.
“What about people who say things like, on October 7, ‘F*** Israel, the government and its military, are you ready for your downfall.’ People who say things like, ‘F*** Israel and any Jew who supports Israel. May your conscience haunt your dreams until your last breath, Palestine will be free one day, f*** apartheid Israel and any Israeli.’ This is pretty extreme rhetoric, don’t you think?” Hawley asked.
Mayorkas replied: “I do and I think there is a distinction between espousing or endorsing terrorist ideology and speech that is odious that does not rise to that level.”
“This person works for you. This is Nejwa Ali, an employee of the Department of Homeland Security who posted these comments on October the 7th. She also posted this graphic … a Hamas paraglider depicted here with a machine gun flying into Israel. She posted it under her online alias with the celebratory ‘free Palestine.’ What’s going on here? Is this typical of people who work at DHS? This is an asylum and immigration officer who is posting these frankly pro-genocidal slogans and images on the day Israelis are being slaughtered in their beds. What have you done about this?”
Mayorkas simmered with rage. “Four things I’d like to say to you, number one, your question, to suggest that that is emblematic of the men and women of DHS is despicable.”
“I’m sorry — this person works for DHS. Have you fired her?” Hawley interjected.
“That was one of four answers,” Mayorkas complained.
“Have you fired her?” Hawley repeated.
Mayorkas wouldn’t answer, and Hawley continued: “Don’t come to this hearing room when Israel has been invaded and Jewish students are barricaded in libraries in this country and cannot be escorted out because they are threatened for their lives, you have employees who are celebrating genocide and you are saying its despicable for me to answer the question? Has she been fired?”
Mayorkas ignored Hawley and complained to the Democrats. “My chairman, after the consumption of Sen. Hawley’s time I would like an opportunity to speak.”
“We would like an answer,” Peters said.
Only then did Mayorkas say “that individual has been placed on administrative leave.”
Hawley said “So she’s not been fired. Why has she not been fired?”
Mayorkas did not answer, instead invoking former President Trump, saying “she was hired in 2019.” He added, “I cannot speak to an ongoing personnel matter.”
“This isn’t sufficient to fire her?” Hawley asked. “How many cases did she adjudicate?”
“I’m not in a position to speak about that,” Mayorkas said.
“She drew attention to the fact that she is an immigration and asylum officer. Here she is writing #immigrants #palestine #refugeeswelcome on LinkedIn. I think the American people need to know, has she admitted people contrary to law who should not be in this country, or has she denied Jewish people asylum that they deserved?” Hawley said.
“I said I cannot—”
“You said you will not. You know about this. I cant believe you come to this committee hearing, you know all about this, and say it’s wrong of me to ask the question. I think your performance is despicable and the fact that you are not willing provide answers to this committee is absolutely atrocious.”
Mayorkas again asked the Democrats to allow him to speak, and Peters granted him one minute.
“Oh I would and I’m not sure I’ll limit it to 60 seconds,” Mayorkas declared. He said that Hawley was “adversarial” and that “perhaps he doesn’t know my own background. Perhaps he doesn’t know I am the child of a Holocaust survivor.”
Peters did not allow Hawley to respond.
Ali has continued to defiantly express her support for Hamas terrorists even after The Daily Wire’s expose, and made social media posts suggesting she is currently in Jordan while on paid leave from DHS.
Ali’s job included interviewing people seeking to come to the US and determining whether they posed a threat to the U.S. and whether those seeking asylum faced a “credible threat” or were lying.
The House Oversight Committee has written to DHS to ask how Ali was hired given that she previously prominently worked for the PLO — suggesting that DHS either consulted a U.S.-designated terrorist organization for a job reference, or doesn’t vet the people tasked with vetting migrants.
Ali threatened to call the police on The Daily Wire for writing about her. Then, after the story ran, she said by phone: “I abso-f***ing-lutely celebrate [Palestinian hang-gliders], a**hole, f*** you!”