The Hispanic Institute

Trump's Special Back Door for Wealthy Immigrants

-- by Michelle Chen, The Nation:

Trump’s “build the wall” immigration agenda isn’t as inflexible as it seems. That hardened border has one exclusive toll booth: It’s called the EB-5 visa, aka “greenbacks for green cards”—known among global investor circles as the EZ Pass to the American Dream.

Through the EB-5 program, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) offers about 10,000 spots annually for foreign investors to purchase at the “front of the queue,” if they promise to sink $500,000 to $1 million in a US-based “development” project. The goal is to give investors priority in the green-card process as a “sweetener” in exchange for investing in commercial ventures that boost employment. But the controversial program, which has exploded since the financial crisis, has been tarnished by links to shady influence-peddling in the backrooms of Trump’s real-estate empire.

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