On Wednesday, April 13th, IIUSA Board Member and FPP Chairman and CEO, Mr. Kraft, attended the United States Committee on the Judiciary hearing regarding EB-5 Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs).
Senator Chuck Grassley states in his opening statement, "today the committee will learn about Targeted Employment Areas, a term used in the Immigration and Nationality Act to describe rural areas and areas with high unemployment in which EB-5 investments are made. The law authorizes a lower investment threshold for such areas in order to incentivize foreign nationals to invest there.
Targeted Employment Areas have been part of the EB-5 program since the beginning. Senator Gramm offered this concept as an amendment in 1989 to the Immigration Act of 1990.
Supporting him, Senator Boschwitz stated, “I see no reason to shut out willing investors while our small towns and inner cities across America are facing hard times.” He said the Gramm amendment authorizing Targeted Employment Areas would benefit rural areas that have difficulty attracting capital for economic growth.
Senator Paul Simon – who served on this committee – said on the Senate floor, “[W]e are mindful of the need to target investments to rural America and areas with particularly high unemployment—areas that can use the job creation the most. For this group, we make available at least 3,000 visas annually. America’s urban core and rural areas have special job creation needs and this visa program is sensitive to that in this way. Investments in this area must still create 10 jobs but require an investment less than $1 million. The Attorney General is authorized to set the required investment at a lower amount but at least $500,000. Clearly, the closer the Attorney General sets this to $500,000, the more we can encourage investments in these critical areas.”
Those in attendance at the hearing include:
- The Honorable Bob Goodlatte
Virginia's 6th District
- The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Michigan's 13th District
- The Honorable Mark Amodei
Nevada's 2nd District
- Mr. Daniel J. Healy
Cavitas Capital Group
Dallas , TX
- Mr. Timothy Whipple, J.D.
Iowa Economic Development Authority
Des Moines , IA
- Mr. Peter D. Joseph
Invest In The USA
Washington , DC
- Mr. Gary Friedland, Esq.
New York University Stern School Of Business
New York , NY
Perhaps one of the most interesting documents shared at the hearing was testimony from Peter Joseph, Executive Director of IIUSA. In his testimony, he underlines the importance of EB-5 to the U.S. immigration system and how it fits into domestic capital markets and global capital flows. He also reviewed the current TEA policy, followed by congressional reform proposals and his personal observations on how TEA is interrelated with other key EB-5 policy issues that need to be addressed in order for the Program to reach its full potential.
"Since 2008, the Program’s annual contribution to foreign direct investment (“FDI”) inbound into the U.S. grew over 1,200% to total almost $5 billion in fiscal year 2015 alone (see Appendix I). This investment capital is creating tens of thousands of jobs for U.S. workers in diverse communities by funding projects in a wide variety of industry sectors across the country - all at no cost to the taxpayer. In fact, the Program generates much needed tax revenue to the tune of over half a billion dollars in state and local tax revenue and over one billion in federal tax revenue from 2010-2013 alone."
His testimony included a couple of interesting info graphics.