Hatred against the 1.6 billion people who call themselves Muslim continues to be whipped up by political hacks and MSM talking heads. Donald Trump, who is actually a leading candidate for President, encapsulated the absurd hysteria by proposing a ban on Muslim non-citizens entering the U.S.
This week, the House passed a bill that would tighten visa waiver restrictions on all foreign nationals who has visited Iraq, Iran, Syria or Sudan within the past five years.
Even before the San Bernardino massacre, lawmakers expressed their irrational, offensive tendencies by approving a bill to halt Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. More than half of state governors had called for such a bill, with most pledging to block Syrian refugees from entering their states.
While politicians and red-blooded ‘Muricans are quick to shun the most destitute of human beings, or punish an entire religion or nationality, there is nary a peep about the fastest way for a foreign national to get a green card. With enough money, just about anyone can get a visa and enter the country.
The Herald Tribune performed an investigation into the federal government’s EB-5 (Employment-Based Fifth Preference) program, which, according to the Department of Homeland Security, actually does pose national security threats. It allows some unscrupulous characters to take up residence and is a “fraud on the taxpayers,” according to one Senator.
“The program allows wealthy foreigners to obtain a visa through an investment of $500,000 or $1 million — depending on the unemployment of the particular region of the country — so long as the money helps to create or preserve 10 jobs in the U.S. The vast majority of EB-5 projects meet the $500,000 threshold.”
Originally set up in 1990 to encourage immigration and foreign capital to the U.S., the program saw low participation until third-party “regional centers” began to solicit overseas investors. When the recession hit in 2008, developers flocked to the program for capital.
“The number of pending EB-5 applications from immigrants swelled from 853 in fiscal year 2008 to 17,367 as of September 2015, government records show. That is a 1,936 percent spike in seven years. There is already a backlog of more than 7,000 applications for fiscal year 2016.”
What was supposed to be a program to help rural areas plagued by poverty has become a pig’s trough of money for rich investors and shady characters. Retirement homes in Sarasota, casinos in Las Vegas and towers in Manhattan are a few of the projects that have been greased by the EB-5 program.
If a foreign investor can pony up $500,000 he gets a green card in no time. Many former politicians have gone to work for the private regional centers that dole out funding and green cards with the backing of the federal government. Florida has some notorious examples.
“The operations are run by businessmen who have been barred from selling securities, developers with a history of failed projects, a multimillion-dollar firearms dealer and an attorney who has represented dozens of criminals coming into the country. Some of these EB-5 principals have been entangled in lawsuits over allegations of fraud. They have been linked to financial crimes, battled bankruptcy and lost homes to foreclosure.”
The EB-5 program grants up to 10,000 visas every year to investors and their family members. Government security agencies can’t keep up.
“The government struggles to verify whether the funds used by foreigners to gain EB-5 visas were obtained legally. It has no access to many offshore bank accounts or employment information. In fact, the federal government has no centralized database to track these investors once they enter the country, relying solely on paper records. Regulators consistently fail to record basic information like a name or date of birth. A new monitoring system to bring EB-5 into the digital era has been delayed at least four years.”
While perpetuating a national security threat, the program is turning out to be just another fraud on taxpayers with no real benefit besides enriching the already rich.
“The government’s methods for reporting the economic benefits of EB-5 are unreliable and often overstated. The program’s top administrative agency is unable to demonstrate the precise benefits of EB-5 investment and cannot verify that the money is creating the jobs intended. Many of the projects now using EB-5 funding would have proceeded without the foreign investment, which has boosted developer margins through capital that is dramatically cheaper and less risky than traditional bank financing.”
The EB-5 program demonstrates the double standards that characterize those who sit in the halls of government. While refugees of war (one that is largely the result of U.S. meddling) and all those of a certain religion are fair game for refusing entry, anyone who gives enough money to the power elite can get a green card.