Comment: EB-5 Status Quo
The action by the Securities and Exchange Commission against two Chicago-area Regional Centers has led to some reactions - perhaps not those hoped for by the SEC and USCIS. It appears most, if not all, of the 290 investors involved were from China, which is a dubious distinction showing clearly in which country the smart money is not located. If the allegations in the SEC's complaint are indeed true, it is shocking that such brazen behavior was not noticed and stopped by someone involved in the EB5 industry. The entire China-based EB5 money assembly line has slowed down, and there is somewhat of a rush to quality. More questions are being asked, and marginal projects are being looked at a little more closely. However, to the best of our knowledge, the Chinese authorities have not yet taken action against the China-based agents involved in placing investors with the Chicago-area Regional Centers who were indicted, though the identities of these China-based agents are known to the Chinese authorities. Unfortunately, corruption is widespread in China, and often the government there is not exactly keen to crack down on those who defy even Chinese law and custom (to say nothing of US law and custom). Indeed, sometimes the Chinese government punishes those who follow the law, and rewards those who break it, whether that is what will happen with the Chicago area RCs remains to be seen. Stateside, many of the established players in the EB5 community are making like ostriches with their heads firmly buried in the sand, hoping that the situation in Chicago was unique and that perhaps we have now seen the end of SEC's interest in the EB5 program. Even though unregistered broker-dealer transactions are widespread, and despite the fact that everyone and their sister wants in on EB5 finder's fees (whether licensed by state/federal regulators to accept such fees or not), many in the industry appear to forget that regardless of what SEC does, USCIS has an intrinsic interest not only in EB5 program integrity, but also in making the EB5 program successful - and therefore in generating American jobs and greencards simultaneously. We encourage USCIS to continue to monitor compliance by Regional Centers of the US securities statutes (especially because of the widespread disregard these statutes have faced by Regional Centers, historically). If the problem is found to be centered in China - which it may well be - USCIS could consider a tool that apparently has worked in the H1B context - that of "dependency" and designate Regional Centers with more than 85% of their funds from China as "China-dependent" Regional Centers automatically subject to higher levels of I-526 and I-829 scrutiny, and/or additional reporting requirements on Securities laws compliance, especially in disbursements of finder's fees to unregistered broker dealers. One way or another, we believe that 2013 will see the EB5 status quo shaken up.

Article: Notes From The 2/26/13 U.S.C.I.S. Teleconference on I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers by Alan Lee

Blogging: Bill Clinton Calls For Overturning DOMA. What About IIRIRA? by Roger Algase

News: USCIS Publishes Notice On Revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9

News: USCIS Announces Revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9

Focus: The EB-5 Summit For Attornerys and Developers - Final Deadline
The EB-5 Summit For Attorneys and Developers will be held on Friday, March 15, 2013 in Dallas, TX. Speakers will include Robert Loughran, Boyd F. Campbell, Doug Conner, Coleen Danaher, Charles Foster, Matt Gordon, Jaime A. Martinez, Jennifer Mercier Moseley, Gordon Quan, Christian Triantaphyllis, and Sam Udani. The curriculum is as follows:


  • Sheriff Comes To Town - Recent SEC Action
  • Lawfully Advising on Choosing a Project
  • Economist Issues: TEAs, Job Creation Models, Tenant Occupancy Issues
  • Developing the 924 Petition

Lunch Presentation

  • 526 Petitions and Source of Funds Issues
  • 829 Petitions and Documenting Job Creation
  • The Regional Center Perspective
  • Funds Administration
  • Current Trends In Finding Investors

For details on curriculum, speaker bios, and registration information, please see: here.
For the fax form, see here.

Don't delay, act today! The final registration deadline is March 12th!

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Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
New York, NY - Downtown New York City firm is seeking a full-time, experienced, Spanish-speaking immigration paralegal. The ideal candidate will have 1+ years of immigration experience in preparing and assembling immigration packages to be submitted to USCIS for IV processes, with I-30 Alien Relative Petitions, I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status, I-360 VAWA petitions, I-765, Employment Authorization, and I-140 Employment-Based petitions. Fluency in Spanish is essential; College degree preferred. Other qualifications include excellent writing and communication skills, proofing and reviewing applications and legal forms, ability to work independently or with supervision, ability to work well with Supervising Attorney. Punctuality and reliability are a must; references and background checks are needed. To apply, please email

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Letters of the Week: Gary Renick, Richard Yang

ComingsNGoings: New Judges
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) recently announced the investiture of two immigration judges. Deputy Chief Immigration Judge Michael C. McGoings presided over the investiture during a ceremony held at EOIR's headquarters on March 1, 2013. Attorny General Eric Holder appointed Craig A. Harlow and Sunita B. Mahtabfar to their new positions. For biographical information, please see:

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