At its core, Rep. Goodlatte and Sen. Grassley’s May 16 commentary, “Restoring integrity to the immigration system,” argues for reform of the EB-5 regional center investor visa program. As an EB-5 Investment Coalition member as well as the president of a $500 million EB-5 fund with projects in underserved communities across five states and the District of Columbia, I couldn’t agree more.
We engaged in good faith with Members and staff on the Hill to advocate for meaningful reform of this important job-creating program. After intensive negotiations with Hill and industry stakeholders, we were surprised and dismayed that the cited compromise had been changed at the last minute, replaced with language that not only failed to embody the negotiated reforms, but also hobbled a free market solution.
The subsequent proposed regulations would effectively end the EB-5 program, shocking the market and hurting underserved communities and small businesses the most.
Given growing conservative recognition of this investor visa program that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs and draws billions in investments annually, I’d encourage the authors to consider a new direction.
There is real legislative opportunity at hand to bring integrity measures to a proven market-based economic engine. We urge Congress to consider ways we can do more to reform, improve and expand this program.
Founder and President, EB5 Capital