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March 30, 2011

Federal agency stonewalls Freedom of Information Act requests on Forest City's EB-5 green card scheme, waits four-plus months to send denial letters

Atlantic Yards Report

Are the Feds in on this crooked deal, too?

Will we ever find out how exactly federal authorities gave preliminary approval--and more--to the astounding efforts to get Chinese millionaires to invest in Atlantic Yards in exchange for green cards?

Not that likely.

During a crucial four-month period when developer Forest City Ratner and the New York City Regional Center successfully recruited immigrant investors in China and South Korea, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) stonewalled my Freedom of Information Act requests in a very odd fashion.

The USCIS responded to me in letters dated 10/22/10 and 11/2/10, as well as two undated letters.

However, it did not mail those letters until early March, some four months later, and gave no explanation for the delay.

Moreover, the explanation given for three denials of my FOIA requests--that they were not of journalistic and public interest--seems belied by another letter that granted a request for expedited treatment, apparently because my request was of journalistic and public interest.

While that request was granted, I have not received the records at issue.

Read on for more of Norman Oder's back and forth with the USCIS. No word as to when, or if, he's going to start meeting shadowy Hal Holbrook-looking dudes in the bowels of parking garages. All we know is, follow the money.

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Posted by eric at March 30, 2011 12:53 PM