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EB-5 Could Be in Big Trouble

South Florida

The real estate industry is at odds over the EB-5 program, which expires on Dec. 11.

The program—which offers visas to immigrants who invest at least $500k in US businesses that create 10 or more jobs—is designed to benefit rural and high unemployment areas. In recent years, however, the EB-5's been a popular source of capital for developers, raising billions for massive projects like Hudson Yards.

This has subjected the program to criticism from members of Congress, who say its gerrymandering, the Wall Street Journal reports. So some industry executives want to scale back EB-5 in prosperous urban areas so that only some, not all, can qualify.

On the other side of the fence is Related, which is backed by influential groups like the US Chamber of Commerce and the Real Estate Roundtable. Related has no problem pushing back against legislation, arguing its workers come from poor areas far away from their construction sites, so not allowing them to receive a "targeted employment area" benefit would do more harm than good. Meanwhile legislators are already working on their own, stricter reform bill. [WSJ]

Related Topics: EB-5, Related Cos., IIUSA