EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1 | Page 8

EB-5 What’s All the Fuss About? by Jeff Campion In recent months, the EB-5 Regional Center program has come under attack with allegations of misuse, fraud, and even claims that the program has been infiltrated by Iranian agents. With so much recent talk about the program in the media, I thought it would be helpful to ask why there is such a negative view of the EB-5 program. 6 Much of the criticism has come from members of the Republican Party. It is tempting to think of this issue as yet another partisan fight, but I, too, am a Republican and have seen how a healthy EB-5 program has benefitted and will continue to benefit our country. I am not writing to criticize along party lines, but rather to outline the most recent issues posed, ask whether they are justified, and look for solutions. The interrogation of the EB-5 program is spearheaded by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Grassley sent his latest letter on EB-5 to John Sandweg, acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arm of the Department of Homeland Security, on Dec. 12, 2013. Therein, Sen. Grassley highlighted issues raised in a recent memo by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arm of ICE. In the letter, he states his alarm at documentation that appears to indicate Iranian operatives used the EB-5 program to try to obtain visas for their associates. Sen. Grassley implies that the EB-5 program is more vulnerable to such attacks than other visa options. Ultimately, the memo concludes that the regional center program should be left to expire. E B 5 I n v e s to r s M ag a z i n e