A mere week before Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) added fuel to the fire of political uncertainty by proposing a series of changes to the ever-controversial EB-5 immigrant investor program.
Though the president-elect has yet to take a stance on the much-debated program, set to expire on April 28 following a series of extensions by Congress, applicants are worried given his stance on immigration. And, developers who use the program are concerned about the significant changes the DHS wants to push forward. If the bill were passed in its current form, it could diminish the program’s appeal to investors, according to experts who spoke to Commercial Observer.
“You can legislate all you want, but if the [DHS] bill went through as is, it would kill the program,” said Eric Orenstein, an attorney at Rosenberg & Estis who works with EB-5 users.
In anticipation of serious changes by the incoming president, Samuel Newbold, an attorney inBarst Mukamal & Kleiner’s U.S. immigration and nationality law practice, said at the end of 2016 his firm felt a “Trump-bump” with the busiest-ever November and December with EB-5 cases. “People are trying to find ways to secure status however they can because they are anticipating that Trump may do some drastic things,” he said.