September 7, 2022 – Invest in the USA (IIUSA) filed a lawsuit (Read Here) against U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 seeking records through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on USCIS’s policies and practices in the adjudication of source-of-funds issues. IIUSA is represented in the litigation by the law firm Kurzban Kurzban Tetzeli & Pratt, P.A (KKTP).
In recent years, EB-5 stakeholders have seen a dramatic shift in how USCIS examines investors’ source of funds, with the agency demanding ever-greater evidentiary showings and taking increasingly hardline positions. These trends include unprecedented scrutiny in cases involving “currency swaps,” as well as USCIS’s increasingly common reexamination of source-of-funds issues in the context of I-829 petitions.
On July 18, 2022, IIUSA submitted a FOIA request to USCIS for records related to policies and procedures for adjudicating source of funds in EB-5 petitions. Because USCIS failed to produce the records in a timely manner, IIUSA, represented by Kurzban Kurzban Tetzeli & Pratt, filed suit against USCIS to compel the records through the court.
IIUSA Executive Director Aaron Grau said, “Utilizing FOIA is an important component to IIUSA’s ability to provide pertinent and critical information to its members, but it has become increasingly difficult to obtain the information we seek in a timely fashion. Thanks to the help of KKTP, we are hopeful we will be able to receive the information we seek for the benefit of our members sooner rather than later.”
Edward Ramos, Partner at Kurzban Kurzban Tetzeli & Pratt, and Counsel in the litigation said, “We are pleased to represent IIUSA in this important litigation. USCIS has a history of silently adopting retroactive EB-5 policy changes, and FOIA is one key tool to hold the agency accountable. We look forward to the results of our latest collaboration with IIUSA.”
Through this litigation, IIUSA seeks USCIS records that will shed light on these shifting adjudicatory policies and practices. IIUSA expects that the records that will be uncovered through the lawsuit will help IIUSA’s members better understand the agency’s policy changes on source-of-funds issues, so that Regional Centers and other EB-5 stakeholders can better protect investors’ interests.
Founded in 2005, Invest in the USA is the national membership-based 501(c)(6) not-for-profit industry trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center Program. Fundamentally, IIUSA is an organization focused on stimulating the United States economy for the benefit of American workers, American communities, and all those invested in sustainable, domestic job creation.
Through dedicated advocacy work, education, industry development, and research, IIUSA advocates for policies that maximize economic benefit to the United States. From the EB-5 Regional Center Program. Accordingly, our primary mission is to achieve the permanent Congressional reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program after nearly 30 years of enthusiastic bipartisan support and record-breaking economic impact.