October 21, 2019

October 21, 2019

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Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Oversight Hearing on EB-5

Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary held an oversight hearing on the Immigrant Investor EB-5 program.  The well-attended full committee hearing focused on reported fraud within the current program and the path forward for EB-5.  The sole witness was USCIS Director Francis Cissna.

There were a few takeaways from the hearing, including:

  • Director Cissna indicated that the proposed EB-5 Modernization and Regional Center regulations may take beyond the current September program authorization date to accomplish. He indicated that other agency priorities are competing for USCIS resources at the current time.

  • When asked by Sen. Graham (R-SC) if he supported the EB-5 program, Director Cissna responded, “it’s lawful.”

  • Director Cissna stated that without needed reforms to the program, he would recommend “letting it expire.”

  • Director Cissna also advocated for legislative reform to address needed authorities for USCIS and to make programmatic changes.

The Members seemed open to reform legislation and continuation of the program citing the economic success of EB-5 in their states.

The hearing was extended due to extraneous discussion of the Administration’s “Zero Tolerance” border policies.

For more on the hearing, please visit https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/citizenship-for-sale-oversight-of-the-eb-5-investor-visa-program

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About this Author

Robert Maples, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Government Policy

Robert Y. Maples is experienced in the Washington, D.C. federal, state and public affairs arenas. He has also been an advocate for building pragmatic alliances to resolve major social issues and has pioneered strategies for addressing complex public affairs crises in collaborative versus confrontational contexts. He continues his advocacy of pragmatic alliances in furtherance of client/government collaborations among the Congress and federal agencies, and serves as state counsel on complex client public policy matters. He is experienced in complex problem solving in...