Grassley and Leahy Introduce EB-5 Reform Bill

Bill improves integrity in Investor Visa Program, adds security protections requested by USCIS

WASHINGTON (Sept. 25, 2019) – Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), leading members and former chairmen of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have introduced legislation to tackle fraud, abuse and national security threats in the EB-5 Investor Visa Program. The bipartisan EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act addresses concerns that the Department of Homeland Security has long expressed about ongoing abuse and exploitation of vulnerabilities in the program.

“For many years, I’ve expressed concerns about the rampant abuse and fraud in the EB-5 program. Both the Trump and Obama administrations understood the need to take decisive action through regulations to modernize EB-5 and restore its central purpose of promoting investment in rural and economically challenged regions. I’m pleased that the Trump administration published those regulations earlier this year. However, some of the most frightening weaknesses in the program, including national security vulnerabilities, require congressional action. This bill builds upon our previous efforts to restore integrity and security in EB-5, and it includes the reforms sought by DHS since the Obama administration. Given what we learned about the vulnerabilities in this program, we cannot afford to continue this program without addressing these critical issues,” Grassley said.

“I have partnered with Senator Grassley for years to clean up the EB-5 program. We successfully worked with both the Obama and Trump administrations to take important administrative steps to promote integrity and end the abuse of investment incentives that have plagued the program. But the Department of Homeland Security cannot fix all of the EB-5 program’s flaws on its own. We are hopeful that Congress will finally take decisive action to address the fraud and other vulnerabilities that have come to define this program. Our bill would do just that,” Leahy said.

The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act reauthorizes the program through 2024. It expands DHS authorities to evaluate EB-5 applications and includes additional transparency and integrity measures to improve accountability of applicants, project managers and the projects themselves.

More information about the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act is available HERE. Bill text is available HERE.

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