USCIS has, finally, done the right thing regarding the blizzard of scandals that marred the EB-5 program inSouth Dakota, from sloppy accounting (at least $5 million is missing), to a huge bankruptcy (for the state) of a large, EB-5-supported beef slaughterhouse, to the alleged suicide of a prominent GOP politician and major EB-5 figure who was ruled to have shot himself in the stomach with a shotgun.
According to a detailed account by reporter Bob Mercer of the Mitchell (S.D.) Daily Republic, who has been relentless in his pursuit of the complex story, USCIS has listed a long series of questionable actions by the state and proposes to terminate South Dakota as the operator of the DHS-licensed middleman agency for the program, the regional center.
The EB-5 immigrant investor program provides a family-sized set of green cards to aliens who invest half a million dollars, through a USCIS-approved regional center, in a business venture that can claim the creation of 10 jobs. Most regional centers are private-for-profit entities, but a few states have taken on this role (e.g., Vermont and Michigan).
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