On June 18th, IIUSA Executive Director Peter D. Joseph submitted a letter for the Congressional Record to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the economic impacts of the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The submission, which includes the executive summaries of two peer-reviewed economic impact studies commissioned by IIUSA, emphasizes the EB-5 Programs responsibility for billions of dollars of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the U.S., creation of thousands of jobs and contribution millions of dollars to federal/state/local tax revenue to the U.S. economy on a yearly basis.
On June 11th, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an oversight hearing of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which featured testimony from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, EB-5 Commentary from Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA) and others.
Secretary Johnson’s statement focused on DHS efforts to protect U.S. borders, national security and public safety (read full written testimony here). Yet, Sec. Johnson noted, “Whatever we do to revise our enforcement policies, there is no substitute for comprehensive immigration reform passed by Congress.”
Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committe and EB-5 Program Champion in the Senate, lamented the inaction on the part of House following the Senate in passing comprehensive immigration reform and also urged DHS to address the substantial visa processing delays in the EB-5 Program which are “threatening to undermine economic development where it is needed most.”
Voicing concerns on EB-5 in his opening remarks was the Honorable Ranking Member Charles Grassley. IIUSA continues to meet with Mr. Grassley’s office to answer any questions about his concerns as we strongly believe that the positive economic impact that the Program is responsible for far outweigh the issues caused by the inevitable “bad apples” that are far from indicative of the industry at large.
Watch the hearing in its entirety on C-Span.org at this link.