Critics say US visa program for wealthy foreigners is 'immigration reform for the 1 percent'

By Jill Replogle

With immigration a hot topic on the U.S. presidential campaign trail, unions and immigrant advocates are focusing attention this week on a federal visa program that they deride as “immigration reform for the 1 percent.”

The target of a series of news conferences in a half-dozen cities is the EB-5 immigrant investor program, which allows foreigners to get green cards by investing at least $500,000 in U.S. businesses, as long as the money creates at least 10 jobs.

Created by Congress in 1990 as a way to stimulate the U.S. economy, the program is supported by business groups and has increasingly been used in recent years by real estate developers and other firms seeking foreign investors. In the District of Columbia, for example, investors have put up more than $110 million and created more than 1,500 jobs through projects such as the Marriott Marquis convention center hotel, according to a trade group that backs the program.

But with legislation authorizing EB-5 set to expire next month, immigrant advocates are highlighting what they say are unpublicized problems. They say that the program doesn’t create as many jobs as advertised and that those jobs it does create don’t benefit the nation’s estimated 11.3 million illegal … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times