assurance steps. However, the agency did not agree that it was
within its scope to evaluate the impact of the EB-5 program,
outside of adjudicating individual cases.
The response from USCIS is reflective of ongoing improvements within the agency. In fact, criticisms of the report called
out the failure to include major reforms enacted within USCIS
over the past four years. The OIG responded to such criticisms
by stating that the audit was limited to the time period prior to
Nov. 29, 2012, before details of the USCIS transformation were
released. Nonetheless, it is important to note that actions initiated by USCIS after the release of the OIG report will be but a
continuation of initiatives made within the agency to streamline
the process, utilize professional expertise, bolster security, and
In the wake of the OIG report, congressional leaders are
already looking at additional legislation addressing the enforcement and compliance side of the EB-5 Regional Center programs. Both the House and Senate sides are drafting legislation
to address these issues.
The Office of the Inspector General is not the first body to
put EB-5 under the microscope and propose change. The U.S.
Senate recently passed legislation addressing the EB-5 program
through its comprehensive bill—S. 744, The Border Security,
Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.
However, it is common wisdom amongst immigration reform
advocates that this bill will not be the vehicle through which
immigration reform occurs. Although many of the reform
provisions in this bill make sense, a separate piece of legislation
is being contemplat