In a serious reversal for EB-5 reform, a federal judge overruled the Department of Homeland Security's decision to cancel the regional center license for an outfit that was involved in a multi-million-dollar scam on the west coast. More than 160 investors lost money and green cards as a result.
According to a recent Law360 article:
"Just because a regional center failed to promote economic growth for a short period while management changed hands does not mean that the regional center has not continued to promote economic growth after that point, when it in fact provided jobs on a successful construction project," Judge Martinez said.
Given the judge's Pollyannaish view, it may be that he has not seen many EB-5 cases. This is the program that gives alien investors a family-sized set of green cards if they invest in a DHS-approved, but not guaranteed project. The minimum used to be $500,000, but last month DHS regulations — quite appropriately — lifted that number to $900,000.
But the usually reliable Law360 failed to mention a key fact in its article: The head scammer, former Tibetan monk Lobsang Dargey, is serving a four-year term in a federal prison for his work with, among other things, the regional center in question, Path America KingCo LLC.
The media often blurs its immigration coverage when big business is involved, such as rarely mentioning the tax breaks for employers that accompany the Optional Practical Training program.
As often is the case when EB-5 reforms are defeated in court, one of the prevailing lawyers in this dispute was Ira J. Kurzban of Miami.
My suggestion, to the president of the United States and to the governor of Florida: Mr. Kurzban is obviously a talented attorney, so why not appoint him to a judgeship? With the proviso, of course, that he never preside over an EB-5 case.