Legislation

Op-Ed: The EB-5 Visa Program Creates American Jobs And It Deserves Reauthorization

Op-Ed: The EB-5 Visa Program Creates American Jobs And It Deserves Reauthorization

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).

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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."

Bill Gresser Speaks Regarding EB-5 Legislative Policy EB-5 Investors Magazine Conference – Las Vegas, NV, January 2018

Bill Gresser Speaks Regarding EB-5 Legislative Policy  EB-5 Investors Magazine Conference – Las Vegas, NV, January 2018

Las Vegas, NV, January 27, 2018

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 peg@eb5nys.com.

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Bill Gresser Speaks on EB-5 Legislation Reauthorization & Reform Panel at the IIUSA Conference – Washington, D.C. 2017

Bill Gresser Speaks on EB-5 Legislation Reauthorization & Reform Panel at the IIUSA Conference – Washington, D.C. 2017

Washington, D.C., April 27, 2017

Bill Gresser, President of EB-5 New York State, LLC and Vice President of IIUSA speaking on the panel “What is at Stake in EB-5 Reauthorization & Reform: Review of Legislative and Regulatory Issues” during the 10th Annual IIUSA EB-5 Regional Economic Development Advocacy Conference.

Bill Gresser was proudly joined by his fellow panelists:

  • Peter Joseph, Executive Director, IIUSA
  • Hans Rickoff, Senior Counsel, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Adam Greene, President, Live in America Financial Services LLC
  • Michael Homeier, Founding Shareholder, Homeier & Law, P.C.

The panelists discussed the likelihood of the EB-5 program being reauthorized without change. Bill and his fellow panelists also discussed the potential for the final implementation of the proposed EB-5 regulations and the impact on the industry. The panelists also discussed the differences between current legislative proposals and the proposed regulations, which were issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Phoebe Gresser at peg@eb5nys.com.

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Bill Gresser, Phoebe Gresser and Ann O’Connor with Senator Jeff Flake during the EB-5 Investors Magizine Conference – Las, Vegas, NV 2017

Bill Gresser, Phoebe Gresser and Ann O’Connor with Senator Jeff Flake during the EB-5 Investors Magizine Conference – Las, Vegas, NV 2017

Las Vegas, NV, January 13, 2017

Bill Gresser, President, Phoebe Gresser, Public Relations and Ann O’Connor, Latin America Director of EB-5 New York State, LLC had the opportunity to speak with U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R – AZ) (second from the right) during the 2017 EB-5 Investors Magazine Convention.

Senator Flake has been a strong proponent of the EB-5 program and sensible immigration reform in the United States Senate. During the EB-5 Investors Magazine conference, Senator Flake discussed his dedication to extending the EB-5 program and requiring increased integrity measures for participants in the industry. EB-5 New York State, LLC strongly supports his efforts in all of these regards.   

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Phoebe Gresser at peg@eb5nys.com.

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Bill Gresser Speaks on Legislative Proposals Panel at the IIUSA Conference – Dallas, 2015

Bill Gresser Speaks on Legislative Proposals Panel at the IIUSA Conference – Dallas, 2015

Dallas, Texas, October 21, 2015

Bill Gresser, President of EB-5 New York State, LLC and Director, IIUSA speaking on the panel “Deep Dive in Legislative Proposals: What Would It Mean to Your Business” during the IIUSA Conference.

Gresser was accompanied by his fellow panelists, Angel Brunner, Charles O’Byrne and Stephen Strnisha. Gresser and his fellow panelists discussed the implications for legislative proposals that address integrity, TEAs/investment levels, effective dates, job creation methodology and USCIS processing procedures/requirements.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Phoebe Gresser at peg@eb5nys.com.

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Bill Gresser Speaks on EB-5 Panel with Congressman Jared Polis at the EB-5 Investors Magazine Conference – Las Vegas, 2015

Bill Gresser Speaks on EB-5 Panel with Congressman Jared Polis at the EB-5 Investors Magazine Conference – Las Vegas, 2015

Las Vegas, Nevada, January 17, 2015

Bill Gresser, President of EB-5 New York State, LLC speaking on a panel about the EB-5 program with the Keynote Speaker, Congressman Jared Polis, during the Second Annual EB-5 Investors Magazine conference.

Congressman Jared Polis (D – CO 2nd District) is a Chair of the New Democrat Coalition Immigration Task Force, who has shown a strong interest in the EB-5 program and has introduced legislation to make the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program permanent.

Gresser and Polis discussed legislative solutions for the EB-5 program as well as the importance of the EB-5 program for regional economic development in the US.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Phoebe Gresser at peg@eb5nys.com.

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Bill Gresser Speaks on Legislative Proposals Panel at the IIUSA Conference - Dallas 2012

Bill Gresser Speaks on Legislative Proposals Panel at the IIUSA Conference - Dallas 2012

Dallas, Texas, October 22, 2012

Bill Gresser, President of EB-5 New York State, LLC speaking on the “Deep Dive in Legislative Proposals: What Would It Mean to Your Business” Panel during the 5th Annual IIUSA EB-5 Regional Economic Development Advocacy Conference.

Gresser and his fellow panelists discussed the potential impacts of current legislative proposals on the EB-5 program and on EB-5 Regional Centers. Gresser’s thoughts on the impact of the current legislative proposals are shaped both by his experience as a successful Regional Center operator, and his experience working on Capital Hill.

The three-day event featured EB-5 professionals from around the globe to network, discuss infrastructure and development opportunities in the U.S., and learn about trending topics from leading experts on immigration and investment. The Guest of Honor speaker was Jon Huntsman, former U.S. Ambassador to China and former Governor of Utah.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Phoebe Gresser at peg@eb5nys.com

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