On Friday, October 9, 2020, IIUSA submitted comments to the Federal Register on DHS Docket Number 2019-0007; Document Number 2020-19145 – Collection and Use of Biometrics by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services which was published to the federal register on September 11, 2020.
The comments reflect the joint work of the IIUSA Public Policy and Best Practices Committees. Input from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) was also greatly appreciated. IIUSA submitted comments are specific to the proposed rule’s application to the EB-5 Regional Center Program.
Generally, IIUSA supports the collection of biometrics from Regional Center operators in order to deter fraud and ensure homeland security. IIUSA has always denounced any instances of fraud or misuse of the Program and is on record supporting implementing more integrity measures to keep bad actors from abusing the Program.
However, we felt that two points were in need of additional clarification from DHS:
- Please clarify that the collection of biometrics will apply only to Regional Center owners and operators and will never extend to include people working with or for affiliated entities and/or job-creating entities that are not specifically the Regional Center.
- Please clarify how often Regional Center owners/operators will have to submit their biometrics and the method of which to do so. Understanding the frequency and the logistics of this is important for planning purposes.
- Please clarify how the collection of the biometrics from Regional Center owners will serve the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program’s purpose of promoting economic development and job creation. The lack of clarity in the standard for promoting economic growth under 8 C.F.R. § 204.6(m) is among the biggest hazards in Regional Center operations as recent termination decisions show. Accordingly, we have concern about how this standard will be applied in connection with biometrics collection absent apparent connection between the two.