GAO Uses Tired Approach to EB-5 Fraud, Misses Real Chance for Change

The extent of fraud in the immigrant investor (EB-5) program is a subject of importance, one we at CIS have reported on frequently, and have mapped, and one that deserves a more spirited approach. So it was with some anticipation that I read the recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on fighting fraud within the program. Sadly, the GAO document suggests a metaphor from medieval warfare:The bad prince (symbol of the EB-5 fraudsters) is holed up in the big castle, and the good guys, on the outside, want to capture it.

Two Immigration Bills, on H-1B and EB-5, Stalled in the House Committee

Two House bills, each carrying some useful reforms and dealing separately with the H-1B (foreign worker) and EB-5 (immigrant investor) programs, stalled in mid-flight this week.

Both bills were scheduled for markup (detailed committee consideration) on Wednesday and both markups were postponed by the leadership of the House Judiciary Committee. As of this writing the markups have not yet been re-scheduled.

A New EB-5 Bill Emerges

A House of Representatives bill (H.R. 5992) on the immigrant investor program (EB-5) surfaced Friday and is due to be marked up (i.e., discussed and perhaps changed) in committee on Wednesday, September 14.

The signs are that a neater, cleaner and much better EB-5 program will emerge if this bill, or something like, it is passed. It was introduced by the Republican chairman and the ranking Democrat of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.).

Government Statistics Paint Grim Portrait of 'Abused' Alien Spouses

Distressing new statistical information — from the government itself — paints an unattractive picture of the population of "abused" spouses claiming green card status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

As we noted in a previous blog post, the number of spouses successfully claiming these benefits almost tripled between FY 2013 and FY 2014, going from 3,318 to 8,706.

Topics: Marriage Fraud

Trump's Emphasis on Enforcing the Law on Visa Abusers

In his recent immigration policy speech, delivered a few hours after his visit with the president of Mexico, Donald Trump said that his emphasis for immigration law enforcement would be on criminal aliens and (presumably secondarily) on visa abusers. Bearing in mind that the candidate switches his positions from time to time, and the strong possibility that the distinction between visa abusers and those entering without inspection (EWIs) may be fuzzy to him, as it is to most Americans, let's look at his focus on visa abusers.

Gang of Eight Members McCain and Rubio Win Primaries, as Does Arpaio

Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.), both members of the Senate's loose-borders Gang of Eight, won primary races yesterday against more conservative opponents, Rubio convincingly and McCain handily.

Rubio, who has a career grade of C- from NumbersUSA, got 72 percent of the primary vote. McCain, with a career grade of D, received 52 percent. Both were running against three opponents. Both senators face Democratic opponents in the fall, both of whom are sitting members of the House. They are Rep. Pat Murphy in Florida (career grade of D-) and the somewhat more formidable Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in Arizona (career grade of D).

Topics: Politics

SEC Goes After Rule-Breaking EB-5 Lawyers in Batches

There apparently are so many rule-breaking lawyers in the EB-5 business that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) goes after them in batches.

On August 24, SEC announced that it had penalized three of them, all for failing to secure a legally required license to sell securities, and said that the trio (who apparently operated separately from each other) had agreed to cough up a total of three-quarters of a million dollars.