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Senate Judiciary Committee held Hearing “Is the Investor Visa Program an Underperforming Asset?”

On February 11, 2016, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing entitled “Is the Investor Visa Program an Underprforming Asset?”.

Witnesses included Nicholas Colucci, Chief, Immigrant Investor Program, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Rebecca Gambler, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issue, U.S. Government Accountability Office, Jeanne Calderon, Professor from New York University and Matt Gordon, Chief of E3 Investment Group.

The hearing began with the opening statements of Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Ranking Member John Conyers and Zoe Lofgren, who agreed that the EB-5 regional center program has a good potential and positive effect on the U.S. economy, although it needs to be improved in several issues.

Senator Goodlatte stated that since 1990, when the program was created, until today over 500,000 investments were made by EB-5 investors, which has resulted in a positive effect on job creation in the country.

Senator Lofgren stated that that many foreign-born entrepreneurs have contributed to the U.S. economy starting new businesses and that immigrants are twice as likely to start businesses than the foreign born people (for instance, Google, Yahoo and Intel were founded by immigrants, and these companies have created thousands of new jobs).

The senators were focused mostly on issues concerning Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) and job creation. They did not support gerrymandering that permits projects to qualify for TEA discount, and emphasized that jobs have to be created in areas of greatest need.

To watch the full hearing and read witnesses’ testimonies, please follow the link:

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