EB-5 Immigrant Investors and Employment Immigration is Good for America


While many pontificate about “illegal” immigrants and alien terrorists threatening our country, the facts show the overwhelming majority of immigrants are hardworking, honest, and dedicated people seeking to live the American Dream. They contribute to the economic welfare of the U.S. by creating millions of jobs.

On February 24, 2016, the International Trade Administration (ITA) released a new study that quantifies the employment impact of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the U.S.  ITA estimates that 12 million jobs, or 8.5% of the entire U.S. labor force, can be attributed to FDI.  ITA found that the jobs created in the U.S. by FDI are due to either direct employment at foreign firms (6.1 million jobs), indirect and induced employment from foreign firms (2.4 million jobs), or indirect and induced employment from productivity spillovers (3.5 million jobs).

U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig stated that the new ITA study “reinforces the significance of FDI in the U.S. economy and highlights that for every direct job attributable to FDI, an additional job is indirectly attributable.”  Mr. Selig went further to state that “FDI continues to be a key economic driver for the United States.”

One way in which FDI is brought to the U.S. is through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5 Program), administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  According to Invest in the USA (IIUSA), a non-profit trade association for the EB-5 Program, USCIS approved more than 8,700 Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur (“I-526 Petition”) in fiscal year 2015, accounting for over $4.378 billion in FDI in the U.S.  Further, on February 3, 2016, Mr. Nicholas Colucci, Chief of the Immigrant Investor Program Office, confirmed there were 21,790 I-526 petitions pending adjudication. These petitions alone represent an amount of $10.895 billion in foreign direct investment.  These figures do not include the additional FDI by high net-worth immigrant investors who also bring their families and business activities to the U.S., which yields a much larger economic impact than simply the required investment amount under the EB-5 Program.

During this time in which much press has been written on the need to reform the EB-5 Program, there has been a heightened debate on whether enterprises associated with the EB-5 Program have actually created the number of jobs for U.S. workers to meet immigration requirements.  The ITA study confirms that the economic impact of FDI goes beyond the creation of direct jobs and that FDI continues to be important to the U.S. economy.

This post originally appeared on Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group. Copyright © 2016 Wolfsdorf Connect - All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Bernard Wolfsdorf Bernard Wolfsdorf is the managing partner of the top-rated law firm, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP (www.wolfsdorf.com), and the past national president of the 14,000-member American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Established in 1986, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP is known worldwide for providing exceptional quality legal services. With 19 lawyers and offices in Los Angles and New York, the firm was recently listed as a top-tier immigration practice by Chambers & Partners with several of the firm's attorneys listed in the 2015 International Who's Who Legal. Mr. Wolfsdorf specializes in EB-5 investment immigration in addition to the full range of global immigration matters.

Joseph Barnett Joseph Barnett is licensed as an attorney in the State of Illinois and the State of Wisconsin and practices exclusively in immigration and nationality law. Mr. Barnett's practice focuses in the area of EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and other business immigration matters. Mr. Barnett received his J.D. from Vermont Law School. Mr. Barnett may be contact at jbarnett@wolfsdorf.com.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.