Hearing Held to Consider Temporary Restraining Order on USCIS Requirement for EB-5 Regional Center Redesignation
Yesterday, May 10, a hearing was held in the federal court for the Northern District of California to consider a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order (TRO) against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services’s (USCIS) recently announced requirement that all previously designated EB-5 Regional Centers under the original program would need to “redesignate” under the new law. On April 22, 2022, Behring Regional Center filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (Case 3:22-cv-02487-VC) seeking injunctive relief from the redesignation requirement.
There has been a lot of confusion and lack of detailed information about what exactly will be required of Regional Centers to redesignate starting later this month except for the announcement of a new form, I-956. Regional Centers are keen to get back to raising funds for economic development projects that have been stalled since the program lapsed in July 2021 and are eager to hear the judge’s ruling on this case.
After a little over an hour, the judge, The Honorable Vince Chhabria, asked both the plaintiff and the defendant to provide supplemental documentation for consideration before making a ruling. DHS/USCIS’s supplemental brief is due May 18 and the plaintiff’s (Behring Regional Center) brief is due by May 23. Judge Chhabria noted he expects to make a ruling by “early June.”
On May 9, members of Congress sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging him to not require EB-5 Regional Centers who were in good standing prior to July 1, 2021 to redesignate under the new law. The letter was also submitted for the record in yesterday’s hearing; however, Judge Chhabria did not seem inclined to consider the letter.
IIUSA will continue to monitor this case and provide updates as they become available.