EB-5 Policy Changes Update

Final Rule Announcement Expected November 2018

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget has published its Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which contains updated timetables for two proposed EB-5 regulations and advance notice of a third. The regulation of greatest concern is RIN: 1615-AC07, “EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization.”

This regulation has moved into the final rule stage and is expected to be published in November 2018, becoming effective soon thereafter.

Significance of EB-5 Program Modernization Final Rule

If made final in November, the proposed rule could go into effect by the end of 2018. Petitions filed before the effective date of the final rule are expected to qualify under current policy, but once the final rule goes into effect, petitions will be subject to any changes to the EB-5 Program.

Anticipated Program Changes

The exact EB-5 policy changes made by this rule will not be known until a final rule is published, but the rule as drafted in the notice of proposed rulemaking included the following primary changes:

  1. An increase to the minimum investment threshold: from $1,000,000 to $1,800,000 for standard investments and from $500,000 to $1,350,000 for investments in targeted employment areas (TEAs)
  2. A shift in TEA designation authority from individual states to the Department of Homeland Security
  3. A refined definition of “targeted employment area” to include metropolitan statistical areas, counties, cities, single census tracts, and limited groups of census tracts experiencing high unemployment rates
  4. Under certain circumstances, the ability for investors with approved I-526 Petitions to keep their priority dates while filing new I-526 Petitions
  5. The ability for spouses and children of petitioners to file I-829 Petitions even if they are not named on the investor’s petition

Significance of Final Rule Modification

If made final in November, the proposed rule could go into effect by the end of 2018. Petitions filed before the effective date of the final rule are expected to qualify under current policy, but once the final rule goes into effect, petitions will be subject to any changes to the EB-5 Program.

(Information from EB-5 Affiliate Network update)

Non-Criminals Targeted for Deportation

As reported by NBC News, “ICE arrests of noncriminals increased 66 percent in the first nine months of the 2018 fiscal year over the same period a year earlier”.

The article warns that the danger of deportation is now more probable for people with minor offenses, such as traffic violations. It cites the case of Ruben Moroyoqui, a 45-year-old mechanic in Tucson, Arizona, who was simply pulled over while he was picking up some auto parts, asked for his license, and, immediately afterwards, about his immigration status. The police simply handed him over to ICE without ever charging him with any traffic violation, according to his attorney, cited in the article.

Similar cases are presented in the NBC’s piece, with the conclusion that being put in deportation procedures is now more and more the default option not only for drug kingpins or people suspected of high crimes, but for any small offense. The entire article is HERE

As with any news of increased harshness on the part of the authorities against immigrants that have still not resolved their immigration status in the US, we advise that you seek the help of an immigration lawyer immediately, so that you can be informed about your legal rights, should such circumstances occur.

AILA’s Reaction to AG Jeff Session’s Remarks

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, in a speech to a gathering of newly minted immigration judges, Attorney General Jeff Sessions further revealed his contempt for the fundamental principles of America’s legal system, as well as for those in the legal profession who dare to challenge his narrow view of the world. The Attorney General compared immigration lawyers and federal criminal defense lawyers to “water seeping under an earthen dam,” and perfunctorily concluded that they have no duty or interest in upholding the integrity of the system. These comments are a shocking statement from the nation’s chief law enforcement officer and reflect his disdain for lawyers who take a solemn oath to uphold the law, as well as a complete disregard for the role of independent judges in overseeing our adversarial system. America’s judicial system is the envy of the world, and the lawyers and independent judges who are sworn to uphold its integrity play a critical role in protecting it.

AILA calls on the Attorney General to retract his offensive comments and calls on Congress to pass legislation to create an Article I immigration court, one that is independent from the Department of Justice and that ensures a robust process and an unbiased arbiter.

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The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

George Paul Tzamaras
Senior Director, Communications and Outreach
American Immigration Lawyers Association
Suite 800
1331 G Street, NW,
Washington, DC  20005-3142
Office:  202-507-7649
Cell:      240-476-4299
E-mail:  gtzamaras@aila.org

Immigrant Health Care, a Burden? New Study Says No

“Immigrants cost us money because they exploit our health care system and we pay for their health care” – this is one of the most often heard positions against immigrants to the US. A recent study invalidates that opinion. It shows that immigrants actually pay more into the health care pool than they withdraw. Effectively, this means that they are actually contributing to, not depleting the national budget.

The study, carried out by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Tuffs University of Medicine, draws the following conclusions:

“Overall, immigrants almost certainly paid more toward medical expenses than they withdrew, providing a low-risk pool that subsidized the public and private health insurance markets. We conclude that insurance and medical care should be made more available to immigrants rather than less so.”

The researchers analyzed all the peer-reviewed studies that appeared in PubMed after the year 2,000, that had to do with health care related expenditures by immigrants, and were written in English in the United States.

The study was published in the International Journal of Health Services, on August 8, 2018. You can read the details HERE.

Having solid science on the side of defending immigrants’ rights is paramount. Our practice makes it a priority in staying on top of the latest developments and putting them in the service of defending our clients.

Keep coming back to our web site for more up-to-date immigration related matters. If you have questions, feel free to contact us by phone at 305-859-9580 or to send us an email: lis@lsnyderlaw.com.

Stricter Denial Policies on Immigration Applications Starting September 11, 2018

Starting September 11, 2018 USCIS, Will Deny Some Cases Without Issuing Requests For Evidence or Notices of Denial

A recent USCS memo (available HERE) released on July 13, 2018 changes previous  policy by allowing immigration officials to reject visa applications immediately if there is missing or inaccurate information.

Presently the USCIS has required officials to serve “RFE – Requests for Evidence” to remedy any gaps in paperwork unless there was “no possibility” that the mistake could be corrected, and then “Notices of Intent to Deny” were issued, giving 30 day warnings to applicants that they would likely be rejected.

The new policy, which will take effect Sept. 11, allows USCIS to “deny the (application) for failure to establish eligibility based on lack of required initial evidence.”

This means that visa applicants can suddenly find themselves on a path toward deportation. This also seems to be another attack on legal immigration and the administration seems to be seeking to deport legal applicants for minor technicalities.

Whenever possible, it is now even more important to file applications/petitions as early as possible to give applicants the best chance of having their case adjudicated before their status or visa expires. It is essential to make sure the files are complete and accurate.