Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Enhancements To The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

“When U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services first proposed positive steps to improve the EB-5 Regional Center Program in May, I commended Director Mayorkas and the Obama administration for recognizing the positive impact of the EB-5 Regional Center Program as an important economic engine for communities across the country.  Now, after reviewing feedback and comments from across the spectrum, USCIS is developing a plan to implement these enhancements in the coming weeks.

“The EB-5 Regional Center Program has drawn millions of dollars in foreign investment into Vermont’s economy.  But the potential of the program, including the positive steps taken by USCIS, is threatened because it does not have permanent authorization from Congress.  That is why I have proposed legislation to make the program permanent, and, this fall, I intend to introduce legislation to make additional improvements to increase the program’s efficiency and bolster congressional oversight   Vermont’s successful regional center is just one example of how this immigrant investor program plays an important role in our efforts to reinvigorate our economy and create American jobs.”

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For more information from the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS, click here.

BACKGROUND: Senator Leahy is the author of legislation to permanently authorize the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center pilot program.  Vermont’s Regional Center program, established in 1997, has been a highly successful private-public partnership between the State of Vermont and several Vermont businesses.  Senator Leahy has successfully steered short-term extensions of the pilot program through Congress.  The current authorization will expire in September 2012. 

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