The fight over the future of the federal EB-5 immigrant investor program appears to be coming down to the wire.
Wednesday night, a swath of influential federal lawmakers told EB-5 industry officials they had settled on an accord in an attempt to push through renewal legislation in coming days. It comes over the objection of a set of urban real-estate developers who are at the center of a fight over the program’s future, making it unclear whether Congressional leaders will act on the draft.
The program, a key piece of which is due to expire Dec. 11, gives up to 10,000 green cards annually to aspiring immigrants who invest in certain job-creating U.S. businesses.
In recent years, it has become dominated by large urban real-estate developers, most of whom are building projects in prosperous neighborhoods but benefiting from a provision meant to aid rural and high-unemployment areas. Some lawmakers have sought to block such developers from qualifying for that provision—called “targeted employment areas”—but have met stiff resistance from the developers.
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