Members of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary expressed support during a hearing on Wednesday for efforts to increase the minimum investment needed to participate in the EB-5 immigrant investor program and for rescinding the ability of states to designate high unemployment areas for investment.
Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., labeled as “common sense” a set of reforms proposed in January by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that would increase the minimum investment for program participants from $1 million to $1.8 million in most areas and from $500,000 to $1.35 million in targeted high unemployment areas, while exclusively reserving for DHS the power to designate high unemployment areas.
“The EB-5 investor visa program ... is currently riddled with fraud and abuse and has strayed away from the program Congress envisioned when it created the program decades ago,” Goodlatte said. “The facts make it clear that this program is in desperate need of reform.”
The EB-5 program currently provides green cards to foreign nationals who invest at least $500,000 in a U.S. project that creates at least 10 jobs, but the program has been plagued by a spate of fraud suits, including a high-profile case involving a Vermont ski resort.
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