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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie

    Visas for wealthy soar under Obama despite fraud concerns

    Visas for wealthy soar under Obama despite fraud concerns

    Program for wealthy capitalists increases 700% under Obama

    By Dave Boyer - The Washington Times - Monday, December 29, 2014

    While President Obama’s grant of amnesty for nearly 5 million illegal immigrants is drawing furious criticism, a little-known visa program for wealthy foreign investors also is mushrooming on his watch despite a history of fraud and concerns in Congress about potential national security risks.

    Since Mr. Obama took office, the number of immigrants entering the U.S. legally under the “EB-5” program has risen nearly 700 percent, from 628 in fiscal year 2008 to 5,115 in fiscal 2014. The number of foreign citizens applying for the visas has grown even faster, from 853 in 2008 to 12,453 in 2014.

    “There’s been a major promotion,” said Louis Crocetti Jr., an immigration consultant who formerly led the fraud detection unit at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. “Obviously, it’s very popular. It’s one that’s riddled with all sorts of problems. The agency keeps trying to correct them, but I do believe there’s just an increasing demand and increasing education of the investment opportunities.”

    High-profile incidents of EB-5 fraud, and skepticism about the government’s claims of job creation, have led three Republican senators —Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma — to request a federal audit so Congress can evaluate the program before it comes up for reauthorization next year.

    Mr. Grassley said whistleblowers have raised serious concerns with national security implications, and he wants to “sort through the vulnerabilities” of the program.

    The Government Accountability Office said this month that it has begun the audit, which is expected to be completed by next summer.

    To obtain an EB-5 visa, a foreign citizen must agree to spend at least $500,000 on a project that will create at least 10 jobs in the U.S. Investments usually are pooled through “regional centers,” which also have grown exponentially, from fewer than 50 in 2008 to 600 this year.

    More than 70 percent of the foreign investors are from China; in return for their investment, they and their family members gain access to permanent residence visas, also known as green cards. The program has become so popular that USCIS temporarily stopped approving applications from China last August because the quota had been reached for the first time.

    Immigration lawyers say the program’s popularity began to increase during the deep economic recession of 2007-2009, because it became a source of cheap money for capital improvement projects at a time when government funding and bank loans were drying up.

    Kyle Barella, an immigration lawyer in McLean, Virginia, who works with EB-5 applicants, said the program “really boosts the economy.”

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    Fraud-Infested Visa Program Grows 700%

    by Judicial Watch -
    Jan 5, 2015

    At the close of 2014, two disturbing stories illustrate how the Obama administration is deliberately compromising national security by drastically expanding a fraud-infested program that lets rich foreigners buy U.S. visas and losing track of 96% of the illegal immigrants recently ordered deported.

    This is outrageous by any standards. In the first case, an obscure program known as EB-5 that lets wealthy foreign investors essentially buy their way into the United States has skyrocketed under Obama. The capital area’s conservative newspaper published a distressing story this week that reveals the visa program has mushroomed under Obama despite its history of fraud and congressional concerns about national security risks. Buy your way into the USA, says our commander-in-chief.

    Since Obama took office the number of immigrants who have entered the U.S. legally via EB-5 has risen an astounding 700%, according to government figures cited in the article. Word has spread among rich foreign nationals because “the number of foreign citizens applying for the visas has grown even faster, from 853 in 2008 to 12,453 in 2014,” the story says. A former federal immigration official quoted in the article confirms that the Obama administration has been pushing the visa program via a “major promotion.” An overwhelming majority of the “investors” are from communist China.

    As if this weren’t bad enough, a Houston news station investigating the recent influx of Central American illegal immigrants obtained downright scary information after duking out with the government for six months. Thousands of Central American families caught crossing the border between July 18 and October 28 had to be released on their own recognizance because there wasn’t enough detention space, according to the documents obtained by the Texas news station from the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR). All were ordered to appear before an immigration judge at a later date.

    Here is where it gets really crazy; 96% of the removal orders occurred “in absentia,” which means the illegal immigrant, not surprisingly, didn’t show up for the hearing. So, essentially, the U.S. government deported a ghost—or the courtroom wall—in nearly all of these cases. That means the violators are still somewhere in the country and nobody really knows where. Here is one figure reluctantly provided by the EOIR; of the 15,614 families caught crossing the border, but not detained, 4,197 were ordered removed from the country in absentia. No wonder the government fought hard to keep the information from going public.

    Our government trusts foreign nationals who have violated our laws by entering the country illegally, then releases them into our communities and trusts them to show up in court at a later day! This happens all the time, the EOIR admits in the news segment, but not in such large numbers. Typically the agency reports an annual 11 to 15% “in absentia” rate. Many Americans might agree that, after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, no foreign national in the country illegally should be released into the community and trusted to show up in court for a court hearing.

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