Originally Posted on The Hill / Michael Halloran  / April 21, 2017

We may be about to fund sorely-needed American infrastructure projects at no cost to taxpayers while simultaneously showcasing one approach to merit-based immigration.

Next week, Congress is expected to advance a bill to extend the EB-5 program, which grants residency to investors committing $500,000 to $1 million to approved development projects that subsequently create full-time jobs. While the program has had a long history of job creation, of late it has demonstrated its capacity for bringing in new dollars to fund pivotal infrastructure developments as well.

Recently, for instance, the EB-5 program has funded the expansion of Seagirt Marine Terminal at the Port of Baltimore, and a new state-of-the-art fire station replacing Engine Company 13 in Washington, DC. In the past, these redevelopment projects might have drawn from more traditional lenders. But following the economic downturn and the collapse of the traditional lending market, EB-5 has proven itself an effective tool for states, cities, and municipalities to leverage as replacement for those otherwise lost redevelopment dollars.

And compared with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which cost American taxpayers between $185,000 and $278,000 per job created or preserved, the EB-5 program funds these projects and creates these jobs at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer. According to our projections, which are based off numbers from the Department of Commerce, the job creating power of EB-5 would be more than 800,000 jobs from 2012 through 2016.

The program also serves as one example of how an aspect of merit-based immigration can be encouraged. EB-5 participants are taking on significant risk with the hopes of creating American jobs and obtaining conditional permanent residency… Continue Reading >>