here is speculation on the Hill that lawmakers will not take on reforming or improving the EB-5 Program until January 2016. But don’t think for a second that lawmakers will simply pass an extension of the Program and indefinitely shelve refashioning EB-5. Last month, the General Accounting Office (GAO) published a report on the Program (Immigrant Investor Program: Additional Actions Needed to Better Assess Fraud Risks and Report Economic Benefits). Congress is reading this report, which is a 58 page “gotcha” on EB-5. With recent SEC actions targeting EB-5 fraud, the EB-5 industry is at a point of inflection.
What are the findings of the GAO in three user-friendly sentences or less? Fraud detection at the investor and regional center levels is a major concern of the GAO’s report, as is the measure by which jobs are counted. The current approach to targeted employment areas needs to be revisited. There is also concern in the report that USCIS has at high levels engaged in favoritism in adjudicating projects.
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