Patriotic images and posters of Hillary Clinton in the storefront of an EB-5 investment firm in San Gabriel.
Foreign investment dollars are transforming parts of the San Gabriel Valley. Drive down parts of Valley Boulevard and one sees new hotels, grocery stores, mini-malls, restaurants, many of them catering to a Chinese immigrant clientele.
There's something else peppering stretches of Valley: Banners on construction projects and plastic signs on storefront offices that read "EB-5."
The EB-5 is an immigrant visa for foreign investors. Those who invest a minimum of $500,000 in a U.S. business and create 10 jobs may apply for conditional legal status; if the business project they invest in succeeds, they and their families can get on a path to U.S. citizenship.
In the last few years, immigrant investors have poured money into Southern California. Much of it has come from China. At the same time, the program has drawn its share of controversy.
A recent government audit concluded that federal officials lack the bandwidth to prevent fraud within the program, which has become more common.
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