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Kill Bill: Iowa Rep. Calls EB-5 Program ‘Fraud And Abuse,’ Introduces Bill To Cancel It

A U.S. representative has introduced a bill that would end the controversial EB-5 visa program that has funded many projects by offering green cards to foreigners who invest $500K to $1M in U.S. real estate. 

Hudson Yards rendering
Rendering of Hudson Yards in Manhattan

Iowa Republican Steve King, a critic of EB-5 who supports immigration crackdown initiatives, introduced a bill Monday that would end the program, Law360 reports.

H.R. 1502, the bill to terminate EB-5, was filed a month prior to the politically contentious program’s April deadline in an effort to combat attempts to reform or extend the rules, as former President Barack Obama did in December.

Prior to the bill’s launch, King posted a comment to Twitter that has been condemned as racist. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” the congressman wrote Sunday. In a statement following the bill’s release, King said, “Under the Obama administration’s unconstitutional and open immigration policy, applications for EB-5 visas suddenly skyrocketed, and now, there is an eight-year waiting list.” 

He said that the program’s “fraud and abuse” have been “disguised as popularity.”

EB-5 visa holders have helped fund some of the largest developments in the U.S., including Related's Hudson Yards and Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park in New York, the Wharf in Washington, DC, and Paramount Miami Worldcenter in Miami. Founded in 1990, the EB-5 visa program created more than 35,000 jobs in 2015 alone, boosting the US economy by $8.7B.

There are also bills being proposed that aim to reform the program, as even supporters say the EB-5 program is too open to abuse to continue in its current form.