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January 17 2014

EB-5 Program Getting Trashed

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) continues to trash the EB-5 program. With the help of a ridiculous Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) memo, the media ran vague stories about “terrorism” and an “Iran connection” to the EB-5 program. This is yellow journalism at its worst.

The ICE memo even says that EB-5 is less secure than family or employment based immigration as there is, in those cases, a family relative or US company sponsor. This is ridiculous. US law provides 50,000 green cards by lottery – those immigrants have no sponsors here, and they pose no security threat! EB-5 immigrants are vetted even more thoroughly than almost all other immigrants – three security checks as opposed to one – on top of proving the lawful source of their funds.

The ICE proposed remedy for this fabricated smear is to double the amount of EB-5 investment to $1 million in a TEA and $2 million otherwise. How will that thwart a supposed link to terrorism?

This all sounds absurd, but anti-immigration propaganda can turn fiction into a “problem” in many minds. I have seen this with H-1B (specialist) and L-1 (intracompany transfer) visas. I urge you to meet with your congressional representatives about the EB-5 program. Grassley is anti-immigration, period. He will get support from the anti-immigration lobby. The regional center community needs to be heard – tell Congress the facts.