South Dakota government officials will be allowed to keep their controversial immigrant-investor center alive, at least for now, and have received some rare recognition of the center’s successes.
A federal agency’s earlier decision to terminate the center was withdrawn last week and remanded for further review. The withdrawal and remand, dated March 15 and submitted to state officials this week, came from the Administrative Appeals Office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
At issue is the South Dakota Regional Center, which handles foreign investments in South Dakota projects via the federal government’s EB-5 program. The program offers permanent residency to immigrants who invest at least $500,000 in a U.S. business project that creates at least 10 jobs. “EB-5” is shorthand for the employment-based, fifth-preference visa — also called a “green card” — which is awarded to participants who meet program requirements.
In the March 15 decision, the Administrative Appeals Office determined that the positive and negative aspects of the South Dakota Regional Center’s operations were not balanced against each other in the earlier termination decision.
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