Plans for a new A's ballpark in Oakland seemed to burst like a balloon when the California Supreme Court cleared the way for state lawmakers to seize redevelopment money.
But city leaders are eyeing a pay-to-play immigrant visa program to help finance the project now that the redevelopment funds they needed for the Victory Court ballpark may be out of reach.
Oakland is looking at finding the needed capital through a program that partners foreign investors willing to pay for a green card with credit-starved developers and cash-strapped municipalities.
Called EB-5, the program marks the first time that foreign investors can buy their way to a U.S. green card.
The program earned the nickname "million dollar visa" because a potential immigrant can get a green card for himself, his spouse and their children under the age of 21 by investing at least $1 million in a project that produces at least 10 full-time jobs. In areas where unemployment is high, the investor can buy in for a minimum of $500,000.
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