Sunday, April 08, 2012

In China, EB-5 advertisers "bombard" cellphone users with text advertising

How big is the EB-5 immigrant investment business in China?

Well, check out this mention from a 4/6/12 San Jose Mercury News article headlined Wealthy Chinese seek special visas to relocate to Bay Area:
"When I go to China, I get a Chinese cellphone and I am constantly bombarded with EB-5 (advertising) text messages," said Kevin Wright, a consultant with offices in the United States and China.
Who bears the risks?

The article states:
The investor visa, which began in 1992, will expire in September unless Congress reauthorizes it, but experts expect that to happen.
"It has enjoyed bipartisan support," said Peter Joseph, executive director for the Association to Invest In the USA, a trade group that lobbies Congress. "It's about creating jobs without spending anything from the public purse."
Indeed, the risks are borne by the immigrant investors, San Jose immigration attorney Acton Yang said.
"The EB-5 requires a risky investment," he said. "It can't be investing in a security. You can't just buy a house. It has to be a risky investment that will generate employment in the United States."
It may not spend "anything from the public purse," but what about opportunity costs? Should we be "selling" green cards when some projects don't create any new jobs?

And the risks aren't borne merely by the immigrant investors. The risks are borne by the public at large, who accept this program rather than one more focused on protecting the public interest.

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