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December 26, 2011

Defender of EB-5 program recommends "leveling the playing field," but doesn't recognize that ending gerrymandering would kill many regional center projects

Atlantic Yards Report

The front-page 12/19/11 New York Times article on EB-5 abuses, Rules Stretched as Green Cards Go to Investors, generated a defensive and somewhat naive commentary by EB-5 practitioner Scott Barnhart, who serves an an EB-5 economic consultant via his firm, Barnhart Economic Services.

Given that Barnhart's 12/22/11 commentary appeared on a very popular EB-5 web site, Brian Su's EB-5 News Blog: Regional Centers in the USA, it's worth a careful look as an example of industry thinking.

Too much regulation?

First, Barnhart suggests that the article "illustrates the problems encountered when regulators, developers and regional center owners must comply with the myriad regulations set forth by Congress surrounding the EB-5 immigrant investor pilot program."

However, the problems are not caused by over-regulation; they've been enabled by (take your pick) poorly drawn regulation or under-regulation. No one has blown the whistle on such problems previously, but they've long lingered, and the industry has not publicly pushed for reforms.

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Posted by eric at December 26, 2011 10:05 AM