On Tuesday July 29th, the House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on the “Oversight of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)” which included an overview of the state of USCIS and the challenging issues that immigration officials face in response to the immigration crisis at the border (Watch the Hearing).
New USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez delivered testimony that touched upon management priorities, public engagement, policy and procedural transparency, anti-fraud and national security screening efforts, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, international operations and the EB-5 Program (Read Full Written Testimony Here).
Mr. Rodriguez statement on the EB-5 Program
“USCIS continues to enhance the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa program, both to improve efficiency and service delivery and to provide greater security. USCIS has centralized EB-5 program operations in Washington, D.C. This unit, augmented with staff with expertise in economics and transactional law, are dedicated solely to the review and adjudication of EB-5 petitions and applications. In May 2013, USCIS published a comprehensive policy memorandum to guide EB-5 adjudications. On the security side of the program, USCIS has expanded security checks to cover Regional Centers and executives participating in the program, and has embedded Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) officers and intelligence professionals to work alongside EB-5 adjudications officers. In order to provide information to stakeholders, USCIS now hosts a series of quarterly stakeholder engagements.”
Mr. Rodriguez and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) Dialogue on EB-5
REP. JACKSON LEE: And the EB-5 petitions, are they something that you can work with as well that generates jobs and other aspects of economic opportunity?
MR. RODRIGUEZ: Yes. The EB-5 petitions are. We are in the process right now of affecting some important changes that were started by now Deputy Secretary Mayorkas, among other things centralizing our EB-5 processing and fully staffing the EB-5 office with economists and other sorts of professionals who will really enable us to very efficiently and correctly process those applications.
REP. JACKSON LEE: I think — let me just say the chairman and I have looked at this issue. I think we had some legislation that was moving at one point in time. And so, I’m looking forward to the ordering of that because I think there is merit to the EB-5 in terms of this is an investment, if it’s in an orderly process and as well the benefits that come. But I want to make sure that the benefits are not overly excessive for the investment and the job creation that is so very important.