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The Inspector General's EB-5 Report

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General (IG) released a report titled "Employee Complaints about Management of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) EB-5 Program". Not the most invigorating title, but the report is getting quite a bit of attention due to the Inspector General's findings that Alejandro Mayorkas, the former USCIS Director who's now the DHS Deputy Secretary, inappropriately intervened in the adjudication of certain EB-5 cases which the USCIS staff often perceived as politically motivated. The EB-5 program, which allows foreigners to invest $500,000 (or more) in a US business or regional center and apply for a conditional green card, has long been burdened by bureaucratic inefficiencies and plagued by accusations of corruption. It is by no means a perfect program and the IG's report sheds light on that. However, Mr. Mayorkas should not be demonized for trying to make an unruly government program more efficient and transparent. In their press release on IG's report, AILA makes an excellent point,

"But when have you ever heard of a large organization in which everyone wholeheartedly embraced changes to the way things have 'always been done'? Mr. Mayorkas was responsible for leading an agency with some 15,000 employees in 200 offices across the world... The EB-5 visa program was intended to bring in investors to benefit the U.S. economy and create jobs for Americans, but like pretty much every facet of our immigration system, it has some serious issues. Director Mayorkas prioritized addressing those problems and ruffled some feathers by trying to change the status quo."

In this case, ruffling some feathers is a good thing. It shows that change is happening and that Mr. Mayorkas was trying to bring some sanity and clarity to a notoriously opaque program and government agency. It's a shame that this is how he is rewarded for all his work.

"AILA: An Agent of Change Paying the Price?". AILA Doc No. 15032550.