Grassley’s reaction to new EB-5 rule; how he & Kushners were factors
Iowa senator Chuck Grassley opposed EB-5’s “corruption” for years. He applauds Trump for the new rules and says now “interest groups won’t be able to draw the maps to benefit themselves anymore.” A former DHS official says of senator’s influence: “I know that Grassley weighed in pretty heavily.” That former official also says Kushner family use of EB-5 was a factor in the new rule, as otherwise, “it would have looked really bad.”
Senator Grassley has made a triumphant statement heralding the new EB5 changes, and throwing lavish praise on President Trump, while condemning the big-money interests he claims abused the program for years.
More than once he uses language about this serving as an example of Trump “draining the swamp.”
“It’s another example of ways, big and small, that the president is going to bat for the forgotten heartland and taking the country back from the swampy beltway elitists,” he says.
Acknowledging the EB-5 program started with an “admirable objective” of helping distressed communities, Grassley goes on to say that the program was hijacked by big-money interested who were able to manipulate the Targeted Employment Area (TEA) maps to develop in “glitzy projects in America’s most-well-to-do neighborhoods.”
While it is true that TEA EB-5 funding did often get spent in affluent urban areas, Grassley states this gerrymandering enabled immigrants to take advantage of the program by thus making investments that were certain to succeed: “Their investments weren’t at risk and they didn’t so much as help build America as they helped rich developers get richer.” This part of Grassley’s diatribe ignores the numerous examples of failed urban development projects that left countess EB-5 investors without Green Cards and even without their initial capital investment.
Grassley also makes the claim that the new regulations address the “massive security risk” of the EB-5 program. His references that “foreigners with ties to terrorism have tried to exploit the program.” However, the senator doesn’t explain how such exploitation occurred or how the new regulations have corrected that deficiency.