Senate panel approves Obama's pick for DHS No. 2



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WASHINGTON (AP) - A Senate committee has approved President Barack Obama's pick to be the No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department.

Democrats on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted Wednesday to send Alejandro Mayorkas' (May-OR-kiss) nomination to the full Senate.

Republicans voted present. They objected because Mayorkas is the subject of an ongoing Homeland Security inspector general's investigation of allegations he improperly influenced decisions in a foreign investor visa program.

Mayorkas is the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that processes such visa applications. He has denied wrongdoing.

Committee Chairman Tom Carper, D-Del., says the inspector general's office recently told him that investigators have not found evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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ALICIA A. CALDWELL

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