Drain the EB-5 Swamp
January 5, 2017 By Matt O'Brien 16 Comments
Forbes recently ran a story on the controversial EB-5 program titled “Here’s One Immigration Policy that Should Withstand President Donald Trump.” The EB-5 program enables wealthy foreigners to obtain lawful permanent residence for themselves, and their immediate family members, by “investing” $500,000 or more in a U.S. based development project. Enacted by Congress in 1990, the program was intended to generate jobs for U.S. workers and attract investment funds to the United States.
Advocates of the program tout it as a capital-raising miracle that carried the U.S. through the 2008-2009 financial crises. But the program has been plagued by allegations of fraud and abuse. Nevertheless, Forbes dismisses these accusations stating, “There has [sic] been allegations of fraud in the system…. Still, to say that the EB-5 program is loaded with money laundering and scandal is far off the mark. ”
Actually, it’s Forbes that is far off the mark. The program has not been short on scandal. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General (DHS OIG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have issued reports criticizing USCIS for lax security procedures and failing to provide adjudicators with the information needed to detect high risk cases. DHS OIG investigated former USCIS Director, now Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas for pressuring USCIS employees to approve questionable EB-5 cases. And U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement produced an internal memorandum (that was leaked to the press) expressing concern that the program could be exploited by criminals, money launderers and foreign intelligence services.http://immigrationreform.com/2017/01/05/drain-the-eb-5-swamp/