Immigration Lawyers Website Disses the EB-5 Program

By David North on June 1, 2015

If a New York Times editorial called for outlawing all abortions all the time, there would be an earthquake felt all over the United States.

Well, the Times has not done that, but the little shudder you felt recently was because the routinely pro-immigration website Immigration Daily had an unsigned editorial recently that said some pretty derogatory things about the EB-5 (immigrant investor program). The website is published for immigration lawyers and routinely carries bitter criticisms of attempts to enforce the immigration law.

But on May 27 it wrote that only a tiny minority of EB-5 investments made a difference in local economic development, that 85 percent of them simply produce "extra profits for the promoters", and that these projects "don't need EB-5 capital." In order to avoid any suggestion that we are distorting the thrust of the article, here it is in full. The final paragraph says this:

As best as we can estimate, currently the bulk of the EB-5 investment (85 percent) is taking place in the "Extra Profits" category of projects where only a small sliver of EB-5 capital is used to lower the overall cost of capital. The remaining 15 percent is distributed evenly between the category of projects that would not be built but for EB-5 capital, hands-on investments, and pooled direct investments. The EB-5 program was originally conceived to be focused on the "But For" and "Hands On" projects and has expanded radically to include these four different flavors.

There should be a fifth, small category, probably covering at least 1 percent of all EB-5 investments. That flavor would consist of the cases, such as in Chicago and South Dakota where the aliens' funds were stolen or simply disappeared.

I would hate to be the publicist for the EB-5 program if it got negative reviews like these from both pro-business (e.g., Fortune) and pro-immigration media (Immigration Daily). With friends like those . . .