Last Friday, a new EB-5 bill was proposed by Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) that would prevent real estate developers from obtaining high unemployment area status for their projects, which are actually located in affluent communities. This bill is a result of legislative collaboration by Mr. Goodlatte and Senior Ranking House Judiciary Member John Conyers Jr. (D-MI). The bill addresses the concerns that have been raised about the gerrymandering and fraud surrounding the much beleaguered EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
Urban Equality NOW (UEN), a non-profit in support of a much reformed EB-5 program, noted recent reports on the funding of a 50-story luxury rental apartment building in connection with The Trump Organization.
Republican Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, has publicly taken a stand against deficient immigrant screening and is calling for reform of the immigration system, possibly even freezing it while adjustments are made. Yet, according to the US Immigration Fund, about a quarter of the $50 million raised so far for the Jersey City project, came directly through the EB-5 program.
“The EB-5 program has been fraught with gerrymandering of the Targeted Employment Areas at the detriment of oppressed areas that truly need the jobs, and Goodlatte’s bill will help put an end to it,” says Angelica Martinez, Board of Director for Urban Equality NOW. “A good example of the projects that are sliding their way into the program are several tied to The Trump Organization.”
“One of Mr. Trump’s platforms has been a strict reform of the immigration system, so it’s troubling his organization makes use of a highly controversial program with a high risk of fraud,” continues Ms. Martinez.
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