Years ago when I began working to reform the national EB-5 program, the problems we saw seemed far removed from the many promising EB-5 development projects in Vermont. It is heartbreaking, and it is maddening, to see such problems here at home.
It is now painfully clear to all Vermonters that the EB-5 Regional Center program is flawed. The program once promised to transform the Northeast Kingdom and other underserved communities through millions of dollars of investment at no cost to taxpayers. Yet it has become mired in fraud and abuse across the country, and unfortunately such allegations have now reached our state.
I have championed the EB-5 program and worked to reauthorize it for many years. I saw its potential to promote economic development and create jobs in urban poor and rural communities. And, in fact, we have seen the program succeed in Vermont.
Country Home Products, which employs more than 200 Vermonters in designing and building power equipment, used EB-5 to shore up its business during the height of the Great Recession. Similarly, Sugarbush credits EB-5 with helping the mountain return to profitability and preserve hundreds of jobs. But the program that exists today has strayed from these worthwhile policy goals.
Read more by clicking below image