8 Aug 2017
Washington, D.C.

A controversial visa program that ultimately allows wealthy foreign nationals to promise investments in the United States in exchange for U.S. citizenship would end if Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) and Sen. David Perdue’s (R-GA) legal immigration overhaul is enacted.

Under the EB-5 visa, foreign nationals can claim that they will invest $500,000 and receive Green Cards for their family for at least two years, with pathways to U.S. citizenship available as well. The only requirement is that the EB-5 holder create 10 American jobs. The visa program is capped at 10,000 foreign nationals a year, which includes family members.

Under Cotton and Perdue’s RAISE Act, which President Donald Trump has endorsed, Center for Immigration Studies Fellow David North says the EB-5 visa would not only be “eliminated,” but so would the industry that profits from the oft-corrupted visa program.

“‘What would the new immigration bill do to EB-5?’ the reporter asked me,” North writes. “The answer is that RAISE would kill EB-5 (the immigrant investor) program as it stands, while still allowing some aliens to buy their way into the country.”

North’s assertion that while the RAISE Act would eliminate EB-5, wealthy foreign nationals would still be able to use other avenues in gaining residence in the U.S. remains true, though the legal immigration-cutting law would make it much tougher to scam the federal system.

North continues:

"But the proposed law would be devastating to the middlemen in the regional centers, who channel the money, and the big city real estate developers who use it to fatten their profit levels, as EB-5 money is, in effect, lent to them at rates as low as 1 or 2 percent a year. These U.S. businessmen would lose their current profits and they can be counted on to oppose RAISE."

The Kushner family–which includes Jared Kusher, Ivanka Trump’s husband–has been most recently under scrutiny for allegedly using their White House connections to attract Chinese investors on the EB-5 visa for a billion dollar real estate development in New Jersey. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), a staunch opponent to the EB-5 visa, sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC) requesting that the Kushner-linked report be investigated for visa fraud, as Breitbart News reported.