RCBJ Retrospective: Association Building Committee Pushes Support Through Public Letter to Congress

06.05.15 | Archived

bhontsAssociation Building Committee Pushes Support Through Public Letter to Congress: Urges Industry Partners to Join Growing List of Signatories (Volume 3, Issue 1, Pg. 10)

by Bob Honts, IIUSA Secretary-Treasurer; President, Texas Lone Star Enterprises 

The EB-5 Regional Center industry is counting on a successful Congressional enactment to extend the EB-5 Immigrant Investment Program.  Otherwise, the existing law, which reauthorized the Program in 2012, will “sunset” on September 30, 2015. The last reauthorization was passed unanimously in the Senate  and by a 412-3 vote in the House of Representatives.

As an integral part of its reauthorization advocacy strategy, IIUSA launched a public letter of support campaign at the end of 2014. The letter, addressed to Congress, has attracted over 500 signatories from a broad range of organizations and businesses who see and experience value in the EB-5 Program. This diverse and growing list of supporters empirically demonstrates far-reaching impacts in industries beyond its own and on American communities, both big and small, all around the country.

Examples of those who benefit from the Program are:

1.  U.S. taxpayers who from FY 2005-2013 benefited from more than $6.5 billion in capital investment from the Program, at no cost to the taxpayer.

2.  U.S. workers who have benefited with the creation of more than 131,000 jobs from FY 2005-2013.

3.  U.S. entrepreneurs and project developers who, without EB-5, may not be able to get projects off the ground.

Every effort of the Association Building Committee, IIUSA leadership and Board of Directors this year is focused towards a singular goal: reauthorization of the Program. The organization as a whole will not “spare the horses” in their aggressive efforts to obtain reauthorization in this difficult time, and its government and public affairs consultants are prepared to fight to the 11th hour to achieve this purpose.

In 2012, IIUSA was successful in approaching a broad range of private and public entities in soliciting signatories for a public letter of support that was sent to members of Congress.  In 2014, IIUSA President David Andersson appointed the Association Building Committee (ABC) and this committee, chaired by IIUSA Secretary-Treasurer Bob Honts has been working to surpass the 375 signatories achieved in 2012. The committee has set an ambitious goal to reach 500 signatures by IIUSA’s 8th Annual EB-5 Regional Economic Development Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC in April [Editor’s Note: This goal was reached and the current total is over 600 and more are accumulating each day].

The committee efforts have been greatly bolstered by IIUSA Advocacy & Research Coordinator Ashley Sanislo Casey, who is working tirelessly for this worthy cause.  ABC Chairman Bob Honts commended the entire Committee and Ms. Casey for their persistent work in obtaining this record number of signatures which combine to provide support for federal legislation to permanently authorize the EB-5 Regional Center Program and maximize its capacity for regional economic development and job creation.

As part of this effort, ABC encourages IIUSA members to reach out to their project and community partners and ask them to sign onto the public letter of support too. Demonstrating the broad support of the Program with signatures from across sectors and industries is an important and powerful way to make sure our voices are heard in Congress. Supporters can quickly sign on to the letter and view a full list of all the signatories by going to https://iiusa.org/en/letters-of-support/

RCBJ Retrospective articles are reprinted from IIUSA’s Regional Center Business Journal trade magazine. Opinions expressed within these articles do not necessarily represent the views of IIUSA and are provided for educational purposes.  

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