Shameless EB-5 Millionaires Overwhelm DHS Agency for the Needy

By David North on August 26, 2013

Hundreds of millionaires and would-be millionaires, both citizens and aliens, have demanded help for their "problems" from a tiny Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agency designed to help befuddled migrants with the complications of the immigration process.

The entity is the Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman; it had, the last time I looked, 32 employees, and is lodged in the Office of the Deputy Secretary of DHS, not in USCIS itself.

It is supposed to help — with no fees charged — migrants and would-be migrants who are puzzled by the often complex internal processes of the immigration system. In short, it is designed for the "huddled masses".

But who is taking up a lot of the time of the 32 embattled employees? According to the most recent annual report, issued earlier this summer, the office had received "441 requests for EB-5 case assistance, representing approximately 10 percent of this year's caseload."

The EB-5 program is the controversial immigrant investor program. What do huddled millionaires want that they are either not getting, or not getting fast enough?

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In the case of the aliens it is an opportunity to buy a fistful of green cards for the investor, the investor's spouse, and all their children for half a million dollars. Bear in mind that these aliens do not have any other way of coming to America legally, or they would not be putting their money in what are clearly second- and third-rate investments. If an investment must have a green card attached to it to receive funds, it is probably not of high quality.

In the case of the citizens, they are middlemen in these cases, wanting to get their hands on the aliens' millions to feather their own nests, in one way or another.

In either case, these suits should be paying for lawyers to handle their cases, not getting tax-supported staff to help with their investment applications.

It is another instance, this time within DHS, of the pushy 1 percent shouldering aside the rest of us.

For a detailed review of last year's Ombudsman's report, see here.