The EB-5 (immigrant investor) program — with its main part now dead for more than 70 days and 70 nights — escaped another black eye recently because of multiple journalistic goofs.
An alumnus of the EB-5 program, who would not have been in America without it, just got sent to jail for two years for selling high-tech, militarily significant items to a university linked to the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, to use its full name.
The culprit is Shuren Qin, who pleaded guilty to illegally exporting “devices called hydrophones that can be used to monitor sound underwater”.
These can be used in anti-submarine warfare. The case took place in a federal court in Massachusetts.
The media’s failure to state how Qin got to the U.S. is a shame because his sentencing should have called to the public’s attention that the EB-5 program can be used to cause the easy admission of a hostile foreign agent.
When Qin bought his green card several years ago, the minimum investment in the program was $500,000; since then, that number was increased by regulation to $900,000, and then reduced to $500,000 by a federal magistrate judge. For this price, the alien gets a family-sized set of green cards. In June, the U.S. Senate failed to pass enabling legislation allowing the main part of the EB-5 program to continue, though efforts to revive it plod on.
The program used to produce 10,000 visas a year for aliens, mostly from China, who in turn chipped in, on average, $2 billion in investments, a tiny fraction of the annual additional foreign investment in the U.S. There were no other requirements for the visa holders; they did not have to start businesses here or meet any educational standards.
For more on the case, see our earlier reporting on it.