Friday, December 4, 2015

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Condemns EB-5 “Bait and Switch,” Calls for Restoring Investment in Low-Income Communities

WASHINGTON – Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in favor of restoring integrity to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program, which was intended to spur investment in high unemployment and rural communities but has been hijacked into channeling funds into some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in America. A reform proposal,  the American Job Creation and Investment Promotion Reform Act, is currently under consideration in Congress:

“The EB-5 program has become a ‘bait and switch’ for the thousands of blighted communities it was meant to serve.  Reforms are absolutely necessary to restore the program’s integrity and to provide meaningful incentives for investment in low-income urban and rural communities. This was intended to be an innovative program to create jobs in places that are starved for investment. But it has been hijacked to subsidize luxury condos in some of America’s toniest neighborhoods and growing fraud has left some communities with blight while investment funds were squandered in casinos and boats.

In a time when income inequality continues to rise, an unchecked EB-5 program can exacerbate some of the worst problems in American society.  We urge Congress to restore the integrity of this program by passing the bipartisan American Job Creation and Investment Promotion Reform Act, which would ensure that more investment reaches our nation’s distressed communities, as Congress always intended.”

Nancy Zirkin is executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

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