On June 30th, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an oversight hearing in which Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson testified on his department’s counterterrorism efforts and other department matters. The hearing touched on a wide variety of issues, including EB-5 briefly. Late in the hearing, Secretary Johnson and Senate Judiciary Committee chair, Chuck Grassley (R-IA) had a brief – but important – exchange on the status of regulatory reform of the EB-5 Program (something that the Secretary has been publicly committed to doing since early last year when he sent a letter detailing such plans to the Senate Judiciary Committee leadership (click here to view the letter). According to the Secretary’s comments, USCIS intends to publish proposed new EB-5 regulations in November 2015 for public comments before promulgating and implementing new rules.
A transcript of the Q & A between the Secretary and Chairman is included below, along with link to a recording of the hearing.
GRASSLEY: Thank you very much. Two more questions. You and I have had a few discussions about EB-5 program, and I thank you. At least two occasions we have had long discussions about that, so thank you. I know you share my concerns about the program.
I appreciate the fact that you are working to issue regulations that mirror reforms that Chairman Goodlatte, Senator Leahy, Congressman Conyers and I have been pushing over regulations you plan to roll out soon, finally do away with gerrymandering to prevent regional centers from using an unlimited number of census tracts to build in affluent areas, even though they are not high unemployment areas, as the law envisions.
JOHNSON: Limiting gerrymandering was one of the changes that we are developing consistent with your recommendations, sir. And as I think we discussed the other day we intend to put these changes out for notice and comment. I think in November. As soon as November. But that’s on the list, yes, sir.