EB-5 Investment Coalition Calls on USCIS to Correct Inaccurate, Irresponsible Release of EB-5 Visa Data
Washington, DC – The EB-5 Investment Coalition, a broad-based coalition representing EB-5 industry participants across the country, today released the following statement on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) publication of inaccurate EB-5 visa data:
“Yesterday, the USCIS took the unfortunate step of adding to the confusion and misinformation circulating about the EB-5 program by releasing a data set that was both incomplete and riddled with errors. This report – which has been subsequently pulled from the USCIS website — even stated at the top that USCIS ‘makes no claims that the published list below is complete, timely or accurate.’ To issue government data with such a sweeping disclaimer is at best irresponsible. The USCIS data is wrong, and must be corrected with a revised and more fulsome report immediately.
“Our Coalition has long called for increased transparency among a slate of reforms to bolster the EB-5 program. In fact, in a January 2016 FOIA request, we laid out a blueprint for how USCIS could use data to paint a holistic picture of the EB-5 program. That is why we are so dismayed by the USCIS’s recent action – the agency has not only ignored our request but has now moved to muddle the facts by issuing just a small slice of the data, providing a simplistic snapshot that will only serve to further misrepresent our members and the EB-5 program. The errors in that limited data only compound the problem – as evidenced by sloppy media reporting on the now retracted report. Responsible journalists similarly should follow suit by retracting any reporting derived from this faulty data.
“The EB-5 program has helped to fund projects in urban, rural and suburban communities across a diverse range of industries, including energy production, charter schools, and manufacturing plants. It’s also helped to create thousands of jobs through infrastructure projects across the country. Whether it’s manufacturing zero-emission battery-powered buses in South Carolina, redeveloping closed military bases in California, investing in Philadelphia’s public transportation system or rebuilding the Brooklyn Navy Yard, EB-5 has provided critical financing to projects across America.
“We strongly believe that real reform needs to come to the EB-5 program in order for it to continue to deliver results. That’s why our Coalition has been working with Congress to advance legislation that will address legitimate concerns about the program, while at the same time, preserving its substantial economic and job-creating benefits. We believe that a reform package that safeguards national security, eliminates “gerrymandering” completely, deters investor fraud, addresses the imbalance between urban and rural communities, strengthens program integrity and allows EB-5 to continue to benefit communities across America is not only essential, but achievable.
“Fundamentally, we all rely on the USCIS to be an impartial administrator and dispenser of accurate and complete information. We look forward to working with the agency to fix these errors and call on the USCIS to swiftly correct its mistake.”