IIUSA earned an important vote of public support this past weekend as the National Association of Counties (NACo) Community, Economic Development and Work Force Steering Committee unanimously approved a resolution supporting IIUSA, which was subsequently adopted and approved on Monday, March 3, 2014 by the full NACo Board of Directors. These approvals signify NACo’s full support of IIUSA’s EB-5 legislative initiatives as a formal part of NACo Legislative and Program and Policy agenda and set the stage for IIUSA EB-5 working panel presentations in multiple future NACo meetings. NACo represents over 3,500 Counties Nationwide and counts nearly 35,000 local elected officials among its membership.
This welcome news is a direct result of the efforts of the newly-formed IIUSA Public Interest Group Committee, led by Chairman Bob Honts (who also serves as IIUSA Secretary Treasurer), which devoted significant behind-the-scene efforts to secure the opportunity to present at the NACo Annual Legislative Conference. Honts, along with IIUSA Executive Director Peter D. Joseph, presented on the EB-5 Regional Center Program to the committee. Also lending their support were IIUSA Government Affairs representative Matt Virkstis, Riverside California County Commissioner Tom Freeman, and SelectUSA Deputy Executive Director Aaron Brickman (who also presenting on EB-5 and the general importance of foreign direct investment to US economic development today).
This engagement is part of IIUSA’s continued coalition building initiative with organizations that have a public mission that overlaps with IIUSA’s interests. Following a 2012 resolution in support of permanent authorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program, in June 2013 the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCOM) adopted a resolution in favor the EB-5 Program affirming, “The United States Conference of Mayors urges Congress to include a robust EB5 program in the immigration bill including additional visas, permanent authorization of the regional center program and streamlined approvals for all applications.” The section on EB-5 of the adopted resolutions document begins on page 69.