Reflecting on Frozen Proposed Immigration Regulations – Reagan and Trump

By David North, February 14, 2017

The White House has announced that it is freezing a number of proposed regulations put forth in the last couple of months by the departing Obama administration. Not killing them, but postponing them until the new people have a chance to look at and perhaps change them.

One of the proposed revisions deals with the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program, which is useful as far as it goes. While I do not think we should sell green cards to anyone, if we are going to do so we might as well get some serious money out of it. The proposed revisions of the current regulations, as we wrote about earlier, raised the entrance fee for these investors from $500,000 to about $1,400,000. There were some other useful changes in the proposed regulations, as well.

It would be a shame if the baby was tossed out with the bath water. If the incoming administration does not take advantage of the proposed changes, the economy could lose billions. Visas will be issued for half a million when they should go for almost three times as much.

The freezing of the proposed EB-5 regulations reminds me of something that happened 36 years ago when the Reagan administration froze the proposed regulations issued by the departing Carter people; one of the many frozen ones dealt with food stamps.

I have forgotten the details but not the irony.

Late in the Carter administration, someone noticed a provision that had allowed illegal aliens to obtain food stamp benefits and proposed to eliminate that practice. The new administration froze a bunch of proposed regulations, including that one, and the food stamps kept flowing out to the illegals for something like 13 months before Reagan's people recognized the wisdom, in this case, of the old administration. Multi-millions were thus wasted.

Let's hope that the Reagan administration's mistake on food stamps is not repeated in the EB-5 program this time around.