Mayor Benjamin Responds to Washington Post Editorial
In response to an editorial in The Washington Post about the EB-5 program, Mayor Stephen Benjamin, the Second Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Mayor, submitted the below letter to the editor.
As mayor of Columbia, SC, I’m always looking to attract new investment to keep our city on the cutting edge of job creation and economic growth. So I was disturbed to read the Post’s editorial, “An immigration policy worth ending,” calling for an end to the EB-5 program.
The EB-5 program may not be well known, but it’s proved to be a critical source of investment and jobs in cities large and small. It’s helping to rebuild roads and public transportation in Philadelphia, manufacture battery powered buses in Greenville, SC, and modernize the Port of Baltimore.
The far-reaching scope of the EB-5 program is one of the reasons why the U.S. Conference of Mayors has endorsed EB-5, noting that the program “has become a vital source of urban redevelopment funds.” Mayors recognize that this program is an essential way to attract investment to address the needs of our communities without burdening taxpayers.
My vision is for Columbia to be a world class city. While USCM has called for integrity measures as part of a comprehensive reform package to improve the program, EB-5 must be continued to help attract even more investment and jobs.
Stephen K. Benjamin