In South Dakota EB-5 Case, More Thought to the Frills than the Turkey in the Oven

If the long-simmering EB-5 scandal in South Dakota were a Thanksgiving dinner, you would notice lots of activity regarding the table settings, the cranberry sauce, and the gravy, but no one would be paying much attention to the big turkey in the oven.

The kitchen, to continue the metaphor a bit, is heating up, however, as the sometimes sleepy Democratic Party in the state is trying to make a major public issue of the repeated, convoluted, and often clever local misuse of the immigrant investor program. The GOP governor when the multiple EB-5 disasters began was Michael Rounds and he is running this fall for the U.S. Senate, so he is the target for much of the criticism.

Would You Buy a Used Car from This EB-5 Applicant?

Every so often one part of the immigration system does the right thing, while another does not.

In this case USCIS gets the credit and the State Department gets none.

Our protagonist today is an alien used car dealer; he's a Mexican millionaire who tried, without the needed qualifications, to convert his E-2 (nonimmigrant investor) visa and his collection of formerly owned vehicles into a green card via the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program.

Immigration, Criminal Creativity, and Some Speculation

A reader of mine, someone I had never met before, knew that I had written about schools that served as "visa mills" for foreign students and wanted to talk with me about a specific one that we both had visited. We set up a lunch date at a bar and grill in the suburbs.

Not knowing the location, I gave myself plenty of time to drive to the place and found myself ultra-early. As I waited at the bar I started reading the September 8 issue of Interpreter Releases, the immigration lawyers' staid trade paper.

DHS Chooses Convenience for Aliens over Sound Decision-Making in L-1 Move

While the process in question does not deal with many aliens, a recent announcement by DHS about the L-1 and TN visas at the northern border revealed a clear-cut choice on the part of the administration.Should we opt for alien convenience? Or for a framework for sound decision-making regarding individual applications for temporary legal status in the United States?The department came down heavily for alien convenience.

Want to Lower the Average Educational Level of the Legal U.S. Workforce? Expand DACA!

We keep hearing from the Obama administration, prominent employers, and educators that in order to compete in the world economy we must have a better-educated workforce.

This makes sense. Brains are rapidly replacing brawn in the newer parts of the economy. Jobs demanding computer-related and other high skills are increasing just as the number of low-skilled factory (and farm) jobs are diminishing.

Why Illegal Aliens Are Hard on America and Why an Amnesty Will Not Help

A Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives — one of the few that might actually capture a GOP seat — phoned the other day to talk about immigration policy. Having once been in his shoes (long ago I was the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House in a GOP district), we talked for a while, and I told him I would expand on my views in writing. Hence this letter:

Dear Candidate:

Too many of us in the Democratic Party appear to be deaf to the feelings of the multitude of non-elite Americans on the question of immigration control.

South Dakota Loses $120 Million in EB-5 Funds

The big picture of the EB-5 scandal in South Dakota is beginning to emerge and it is not pretty

It looks like something on the order of $120 million in EB-5 funds that should be in the state's treasury are missing — a sum in that state that is, to paraphrase the late Sen. Everett Dirksen, real money.

Why moneys paid by EB-5 investors should be in the state's coffers, and why they are in some other, unknown location or locations, is an incredibly complex, South Dakota-only story that neither the local reporters nor the local politicians seem to understand very well. And it is all happening because of a huge gap in the regulation of the immigrant investor program by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a variable no one mentions.