Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is urging Congress to reauthorize and expand the controversial EB-5 program that gives wealthy foreigners immigration visas in exchange for $500,000 business investments in the United States.
The Employment-Based Fifth Preference is set to expire Sept. 16 and Rawlings is one of the big city mayors co-sponsoring a U.S. Conference of Mayors resolution requesting renewal of the program.
The mayors' group says EB-5 "has become a vital source of urban redevelopment funds, and mayors are working with private parties to use EB-5 foreign direct investment to finance job-creating projects and downtown revitalization."
In Dallas, Civitas EB-5 Capital has raised $500 million in foreign investments to fund apartments, hotels, offices and restaurants in and around downtown.
"This is the sort of development you want in your city," Rawlings said in an interview. "Our saliency on the global market today is much higher than it ever has been -- because of programs like this."
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