Latest EB-5 News
Election; The Senate & EB-5; ITIN
Overall, Trump’s anti-immigrant crusade has been most disturbing.
One possible bright spot is that Trump’s son-in-law partially funded a real estate project with EB-5 funds. So EB-5 possibly may have a friend in Trump.
Trump has vowed to repeal the executive order creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program for people here illegally since they were children. He says he will bar Syrian refugees, which he can do under existing law.
Another immigration program that may be in peril is the new 36-month OPT work permit for tech grads of U.S. schools. We will see what type of restrictions are placed on Muslims seeking temporary and permanent residence. This could impact EB-5 directly and discourage people from even applying. Muslims now undergo strict security checks that can take many months to obtain. Another program that could be cancelled is the stateside waiver program allowing people to be in the US while the government processes waivers for immigrants who overstayed visas or entered illegally (requiring a showing of extreme hardship to a citizen spouse or parent).
The Trump team is now considering a few serious anti-immigrant people for top spots in the government, (including possibly the Secretary of Homeland Security) (possibly DHS secretary). One is Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State of Kansas. He championed Voter ID laws to suppress the votes of the poor (some also think he may be a possible Supreme Court Justice appointment). Another is John Eastman, who wants to effectively repeal Abraham Lincoln\'s 14th Amendment through interpretation to retroactively strip U.S. citizenship of those born in the U.S. without U.S. citizen parents at birth. I am not kidding.
A Republican Congress and Republican President will have free rein to change our immigration statutes as they please. Congress may make it a crime to overstay a tourist visit. Additionally, anti-immigrant advocates often like to limit people’s access to the courts, which gives the government unchecked power to decide applications.
It is a very sad day in America for immigration.
The Senate & EB-5
The Republicans retained control of the Senate. Thus, Senator Grassley will remain chair of the judicial committee and will have influence on any new immigration legislation. He holds anti-immigrant views and is no friend of EB-5. While Trump says he wants to drastically reduce government regulation of business, all indications from Senator Grassley point to more government regulation of EB-5 RCs and projects. We will see how the Regional Center extension legislation unfolds in the next few weeks as the statute expiration deadline of December 9th approaches. It is a good idea for people to file I-526s now. I will keep you informed what I hear from Washington D.C. about the players and EB-5 RC statute extension politics.
Investors in EB-5 RCs, as well as some direct projects, usually obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification (“ITIN”) until they immigrate and obtain a Social Security number. The Internal Revenue Services (“IRS”) announced changes to the ITIN program. They plan to require people to renew their ITIN. The IRS will send notice to the affected taxpayers. IRS FAQs can be found at ITIN Expiration Frequently Asked Questions page on the IRS website. These changes should not affect pending I-526s.