The Wall Street Journal's Eliot Brown reports on the controversy around the EB-5 program, which grants immigrants green cards in exchange for investment in a job-creating development.
The program is set to expire a month from today, and a battle is being waged over its extension. Critics claim that EB-5--meant to stimulate the economy of areas in disadvantaged areas--is being gamed by big urban developers building in prosperous areas.
These projects have benefited from a provision intended for rural or high-unemployment areas—a practice that makes it far easier to raise the low-cost financing but also has attracted the caustic criticism from members of Congress who call it an abuse of the rules.
Industry groups are trying to strike a compromise wherein the program will be extended to some, not all, projects in prosperous areas.
The Chamber of Commerce, Real Estate Roundtable and the EB-5 Investment Coalition—a different trade group of which Related is a member—urged in a letter to legislators last week a “reasoned and objective” plan in which projects qualify as targeted employment areas if “workers live in high unemployment Census tracts, and commute to the specific tract where the EB-5 project is located.”