Dollars for green cards: EB-5 program grants visas, even citizenship, to foreigners who invest in U.S.

Article CAIRCO note: 
The Government Accountability Office [GAO] report: unable to adequately monitor the program for fraud
Article author: 
Jeff Collins and Roxana Kopetman
Article publisher: 
OC Register
Article date: 
29 August 2015
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

Facing a deadline to get a green card or go home, Chinese immigrant Xiaoyu “Hugh” Hou narrowed his options to two: Marry an American or come up with $500,000 to invest in a jobs project.

“I don’t want to get married. It’s not my lifestyle,” said the 32-year-old tech entrepreneur, now living in Santa Monica ...

Five years after he lent mother’s half-million to a San Bernardino redevelopment project, Hou got her money back, plus interest. And 1 1/2 weeks ago, he became a U.S. citizen.

There’s a long line to enter “the golden door,” as the gateway to America is known in a poem at the Statue of Liberty. But immigrants like Hou are finding a shortcut: investing in real estate ...

“It’s a win-win program,” said Christine Hanna, chief operations officer for Global Premier America Regional Center in Irvine, which will break ground in September on the Orange Medical Plaza, an immigrant-supported office building ...

Critics, however, say the EB-5 program allows immigrants to buy their way into America, circumventing the long waits other immigrants face.

“We shouldn’t be selling visas to anyone. It’s morally wrong. It’s a highly inappropriate policy,” said David North, a senior fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, a D.C.-based think tank ..

The investment nets the applicants green cards for themselves and also their immediate family members ...

A recent Government Accountability Office report found that government investigators identified at least 35 cases of securities fraud in the EB-5 program, noting that “immigrant investors may be vulnerable to fraud schemes because they may be primarily focused on obtaining their visas.”

The report said the government is unable to adequately monitor the program ....

CAIRCO Comment:

Taken from the article, here is one example of Chain Migration. 'An immigration attorney told Paul and Sharon Little it would take their family eight to 10 years to emigrate from England to the U.S., even though Sharon’s father is a permanent U.S. resident.' They had been visiting the father for ten years and decided they wanted to live in the U.S., stating they wanted their daughters to grow up here.The Littles’  two daughters went from a Catholic school in England, to a American  taxpayer funded public school. In 2011, the immediate family of four got their permanent resident green cards. In 2014 they became U.S. citizens.

Chain migration and family reunification
Waits for immigration status -- the legal way -- can be long and frustrating
Video - selected short videos on the impact of mass immigration
Homeland Security Working Overtime to Add ‘New Americans’ by 2016 Election [letters sent to all 9 million green card holders]