Comment: EB5 - Deja Vu All Over Again
Last Thursday, Senators Grassley and Leahy released their letter to Senate leadership regarding reauthorization of EB-5 and today Rep. Goodlatte released his EB-5 reauthorization bill. At this stage, these are simply expressions of opinions, which opinions have ceased to matter for the time being - the issue is in the hands of the leadership of both Chambers of Congress - and they have far more urgent priorities, leaving no time currently to consider EB-5 changes.

The overriding and determining factor is that there is very little time left for any maneuvering by any side before September 30th. Only matters that can command attention of the Senate or the House are urgent political issues such as Zika funding. As it is an election year, it will be extremely hard for any new significant agreement to be achieved between the two parties on any issue. Therefore, we expect there to be a Continuing Resolution till December 9th or so, which will extend the EB-5 Regional Center program without changes till then. Then, we expect there to be another Continuing Resolution to kick the Regional Center can down the road without changes to the next Congresss to April 30, 2017 or September 30, 2017 - almost exactly like what happened last year.

2017 will bring serious changes to immigration--regardless of who wins the Presidential election. Both Presidential candidates have made immigration a central issue of their campaigns and have asked for a mandate from the people to move forward on their speicific immigration visions. It will be the duty of Congress to honor that mandate by setting up a floor vote on legislation on the overall immigration issue, not just EB5. If Mr. Trump wins, the immigration bill will prominently feature the wall; and if Ms. Clinton wins, the immigration bill will prominently feature legalization. EB-5 will remain a minor side issue as a mere wrinkle on a wrinkle in the entire fabric of the immigration bills offered for consideration on the floors of both Chambers of Congress.

The legislative uncertainty that the EB-5 program finds itself in at the moment, is utterly normal in the immigration field, and immigration professionals have been used to it for decades. EB-5 remains a competitive field and those that are paralyzed by the uncertainty will have a disadvantage as compared to those who can keep calm and carry on in the face of uncertainty.

Please let us know your thoughts by writing to us at editor@ilw.com.

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Letters of the Week:

ComingsNGoings: Immigration Event
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