Day #15 of EB-5 Regional Center Program Lapse
As we enter the third week of the EB-5 Regional Center program lapse, we hear from investors every day how their immigration process has come to a complete standstill and upended their lives. At the same time we have received tremendous support from individuals who have donated to us. We hope to be the entity that unites all the stakeholders and brings the program back to life.
Appeal to Industry Members – Take part in positive change
As a young advocacy organization, AIIA needs your support! At its core, AIIA was established to improve the immigration-by-investment experience of current investors. As an industry member, help your current investors receive a positive experience in their immigration journeys by connecting them with us and giving us the opportunity as an organization and community to support them during this uncertain time.
We have created a comprehensive FAQ guide regarding the program lapse that you can redirect your investors and clients to. There is a version in Chinese as well you can share with them.
Members of Congress lack awareness of the families supported by the EB-5 program. Many EB-5 investors are highly contributing members of American society – COVID frontline doctors, vaccine researchers, and American innovation economy workers. AIIA’s ‘Faces behind EB5’ campaign seeks to increase awareness among members of Congress, administration and other stakeholders by highlighting the unique life stories of EB-5 investors. As Industry Partners, you can have a positive impact by helping connect us with your investor clients.
AIIA Webinar Series – What you may have missed
On Jul 1, 2021, the first day of lapse in program authorization, AIIA held its second public webinar for investors and industry professionals to discuss the immediate impact of the lapse in Regional Center program authorization and, critically, to seek investor input on a reauthorization bill. The panel of four of the nation’s leading immigration attorneys included:
- Robert Divine, Baker Donelson
- Matt Galati, Galati Law Firm
- Michael Harris, Harris Law, P.A.
- Irina Rostova, Rostova Westerman Law Group, P.A.
Amidst heightened investor anxiety, this well-timed event offered the attorneys’ view on the latest USCIS guidance on the EB5 Regional Center program lapse; ongoing reauthorization efforts; Q&A with investors; AIIA’s efforts with EB5IC and IIUSA, followed by our webinae Town Hall. Here’s an easy way to catch up on what you may have missed:
00:00 Day #1 of Program Lapse
0:30 Agenda for This Webinar
01:42 Who is AIIA
03:40 AIIA Progress Report
05:56 What You Can Do to Help AIIA
11:19 Attorney Michael Harris’s Take on Reauthorization Efforts
15:46 Attorney Panel Q&A With Investors
37:30 AIIA and IIUSA
38:20 AIIA and EB5IC
40:09 AIIA Guiding Principle
41:23 Town Hall: Chance of Reauthorization?
44:30 Town Hall: Chinese EB-5 Investors
45:49 Town Hall: Aaron Grau on EB5IC
47:57 Town Hall: Aaron Grau on IIUSA’s Priorities
49:13 Town Hall: Aaron Grau on Current Political Landscape
50:34 Town Hall: Aaron Grau on Reauthorization
51:09 Town Hall: Aaron Grau on Specific Provisions
53:56 Town Hall: Aaron Grau on Advocacy Post Reauthorization
56:43 Town Hall: Aaron Grau on Current Situation
58:55 Wrapping Up
On Friday, July 16th, AIIA held an exclusive webinar for Chinese EB-5 investors and other industry professionals. AIIA aims to help bridge the awareness gap among Chinese investors and educate on broader issues concerning investors. Chinese investors are the single largest group of investors affected by the ongoing program lapse and it is critical that they are aware of the current state of affairs.
Legislative and Administrative updates:
AIIA is holding calls with key members of the Senate, including members of the crucial Senate Judiciary Committee, to convey investor concerns and the effect of the Regional Center program lapse on existing investors, their lives, and their immigration timelines. So far we have talked to staffers in the offices of three prominent U.S. Senators:
- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) – Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee and Co-sponsor of S.831, EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2021
- Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) – Member, Senate Judiciary Committee
- Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) – Member, Senate Budget Committee
Additionally, over the course of this week and next, we have calls lined up with staff members of key players involved in the EB-5 program reauthorization effort. Congressional relationship-building with key Representatives and Senators is important and we seek to do that by portraying the EB-5 program from the perspective of Immigrant Investors. We bring on EB-5 investors who live and work in constituencies of these members of Congress and highlight their immigration stories . Our goal is to tackle the cash-for-visa perception that the program often carries and provide the real human narrative behind EB-5.
AIIA has also worked with Robert C. Divine, Chair of the Immigration Division at Baker Donelson and former General Counsel and Acting Director of USCIS, to draft legislative language that will grandfather existing investors in case of any future program lapse or failure to re-authorize the program. We are in the process of circulating this language around relevant Congressional offices. We have also received commitments from IIUSA and EB5IC that they will push for the inclusion of AIIA’s grandfathering language in any reauthorization bill. You can read more about the Foreign Investor Fairness Protection Act (FIFPA) here.
Mentions in the press and partnerships
Industry board IIUSA put out a blog post in support of us and also invited us for their webinar on July 7th discussing the current status of reauthorization. We greatly appreciate the organization representing most of our Investment Issuers to be on board to support our efforts.
EB5 Investors Magazine published an article titled “New EB-5 investor advocacy group seeks a seat at the table”, covering the diverse personal stories and viewpoints of three AIIA founders.
AIIA is a member-funded organization. We rely on your donations to make the positive impact that we all deserve. Your donation helps us achieve the following objectives:
- Fund our political consultancy expenses which gain us access to direct conversations with Congress, build earned-media presence and fund marketing campaigns
- Professional Services expenses associated with drafting legislative text and proposals.
- Legal Services expenses to defend investor interests in key ongoing EB5 precedent-building legal arguments.
- Administrative expenses to carry out 501 (c) (4) activities.
- Website and other overhead expenses.
Donate to us via Zelle
For Zelle donations please send funds to: [email protected]
American Immigrant Investor Alliance