Op-ed written by Bob Barr, former representative of Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003.
"There is, however, one program that, over the course of its quarter century existence, has delivered consistently on its promise of bringing lawful immigrants to our shores as investors and job creators: the EB-5 visa program (“EB-5” is shorthand for the fifth category of employment-based immigrant visas).
Reauthorized repeatedly since its inception in 1990, the EB-5 program currently is again under consideration. The program works. It meets every positive criteria the administration has laid out for immigration reform. Reauthorizing and expanding the EB-5 visa program must be part and parcel of any DACA legislation or other immigration-focused legislation. Failure to do so should not be an option."
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Oishei Children's Hospital and the Buffalo Zoo have partnered to create Zoo TV for young patients.
Zoo TV is a feed of cameras at the zoo streamed directly to TVs in patient rooms. The webcam system allows patients to scroll through different zoo animal feeds.
The feeds are also accessible in playrooms on each floor and on mobile devices while in the hospital.
According to a Children's Hospital spokesperson, "the interactive application was created with the goal of enhancing patient experience, reducing patients' anxiety and redirecting their focus during hospital stays."
Bill Gresser, President of EB-5 New York State, LLC and Vice President of IIUSA participated on the very popular panel “EB-5 Legislative Policy Update” during the annual EB-5 Investors Magazine conference in Las Vegas, NV.
The panel included:
Bill Gresser, EB-5 New York State, LLC
Angelique Brunner, EB5 Capital
Daniel Healy, Civitas Capital Group
Enrique Gonzalez, Fragomen Worldwide
Tom Rosenfeld, CanAm Enterprises, LLC
The panelists discussed the likelihood of legislative changes to the EB-5 program in 2018 and the impacts of potential legislation. The panelists discussed the EB-5 program in the context of the larger US immigration debates. Bill and his fellow panelists focused on the key legislative issues for stakeholders in the EB-5 industry: Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs), the push for an increase in EB-5 visas and minimum investment amount increases.
Bill focused on the changes which may come from either (1) legislative changes (new law) passed by the US Congress or (2) changes from Regulation promulgated by the US Department of Homeland Security. Potential legislative changes which are being discussed in Congress may include needed integrity reforms, tightly defined targeted urban employment areas, visa set asides for rural and high unemployment urban areas, a 5 or 6-year re-authorization, coupled with increases in minimum investment amounts (from the current $500,000, up to $925,000 to $1,025,000).
The other mechanism for changes are regulations from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS proposed regulations include changes which would tighten the definition of Targeted Employment Areas (but not as tightly defined as in the legislative proposals) and would greatly increase the minimum investment amount (up from the current $500,000, up to $1.3 million in a TEA or Rural area and $1.8 million per investor in all other areas). Of particular importance, the DHS’ regulatory changes cannot include the same integrity reforms and cannot reauthorize (or extend) the program – only Congress can make those changes.
Bill also stressed that although many in Congress support legislative reform, even if there is a compromise on an EB-5 legislative reform package, there must be a legislative vehicle (like the upcoming Omnibus bill expected to pass by March 23, 2018) upon which the EB-5 legislation would “ride.” The EB-5 program cannot realistically be passed on its own, and the upcoming Omnibus bill is the next appropriate legislative vehicle upon which the EB-5 program could be passed. Again, the Omnibus bill is expected to pass by March 23, 2018 with the end of the current continuing resolution.
Finally, Bill answered questions about the legislative and regulatory uncertainties which exist in the EB-5 program today and the challenges and opportunities that those uncertainties create for Regional Centers and project developers. The key, Bill stated, is the importance of planning for uncertainty in both Regional Center and EB-5 Investment Project design.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Phoebe Gresser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Congress voted to end the government shutdown on Monday after three days of a shutdown. President Trump signed the measure, extending federal funding and authorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program until February 8th. Regular processing of EB-5 petitions have resumed at all relevant agencies.
Congress still has work to do before February 8th. The new CR is the fourth continuing resolution of FY 2018, creating uncertainty for our industry and many others across the country. While Republican negotiators on EB-5 are closer than ever to finding agreement internally, there are still bipartisan negotiations that need to occur. With pending regulations that could raise investment levels by over 100% and a current potential posted final action date in February, Congressional leaders would likely be left with only 60 days after that final action date to produce a legislative solution in place of the regulations. IIUSA continues to advocate on behalf of the industry based on our grassroots-developed Policy Platform and will keep you updated on progress as it happens."
Congress Passes Stopgap Spending Bill - Extends EB-5 Through January 19, 2018.
[On December 21st] "both the House and Senate passed a stopgap spending bill which will avert a government shutdown through January 19, 2018, pending signature by President Trump which is expected sometime today. This extends the current sunset date for the EB-5 Regional Center Program as well, which was supposed to expire at midnight tonight.
IIUSA remains in close conversations with the Congressional offices working on EB-5 reform legislation and we are hopeful that action will occur prior to the new sunset date in January. As always, we will keep you informed of any developments when they occur. A reminder that you can review IIUSA's Policy Platform at anytime. This platform, developed and approved by our members and Board of Directors, guides the organizations conversations and positions around EB-5 reform. Please email@example.com with any comments or questions."
"For Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Dean Michael Cain, the completion of the school’s new downtown location is “a dream come true.”
Cain was among several UB administrators who spoke at the grand opening ceremony for the new medical campus Tuesday morning. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul also spoke at the ceremony and addressed a buzzing, excited crowd. Attendees filled every chair and standees spilled into the lobby. Onlookers could be seen looking down from every floor in the six-story atrium.
The opening of the $375 million facility comes after more than six years of planning and construction. The first phase of re-location started in November, and the building will be ready for the first day of classes on Jan. 8."