As he prepares for the upcoming session of Congress, Senator Patrick Leahy is also getting ready to push for new reforms in immigration matters. Specifically, he aims to promote the EB-5 fraud reform package that was proposed in the summer. While Congress did extend the immigrant investor legislation in late September, Leahy believes that those efforts did little to protect against fraud, which he believes is rampant. Many New York residents are concerned about how the matter will move forward once Donald Trump takes office early next year.
One problem involves nearly 700 immigrants who invested in projects through Northeast Kingdom. They did so in the belief that they would receive green cards in return for those investments. However, more than 400 investors currently have their immigration status in jeopardy as a result of fraud. Unless Leahy is able to obtain an exemption, those individuals could lose their permanent residency.
Unfortunately, no one knows how EB-5 reforms might go under a Trump presidency. Trump did not mention the EB-5 program during his campaign, and Leahy and others are waiting to see how he will handle the matter. That uncertainty has placed many immigrant families in a very uncomfortable position.
The EB-5 program has been widely used in New York to assist the construction industry in the state. Because Trump has built his name in real estate, many people suspect that he would not be amenable to focusing on EB-5 fraud reforms. Congress may end up debating the issue during the spring session.
Source: vtdigger.org, "Leahy to press ahead with EB-5 reforms in lame duck session", Alan Keays, Nov. 16, 2016