Dear Rep. Zoe Lofgren,
Sub: Appeal to request a minor modification to the ‘Do No Harm’ clause in the HR1044 bill and make it a real ‘Do No Harm’ bill for the people awaiting adjudication of their petition.
EB-5 Investor Group comprises individual investors from EB-5 category. Several hundred investors have invested in the EB-5 program since there is a huge backlog of several decades in EB-2 and EB-3 categories. Each of us has invested our life savings in the EB-5 program, which generates significant investment and 10 jobs for each petition, with the ultimate wish to secure the American dream and most importantly save our children from aging out.
Thank you for sponsoring the HR1044 bill. While this bill will make the employment-based immigration fair and equitable, we also appreciate that one of its objectives is to protect the interests of existing future-immigrants from non-backlogged countries that are already waiting in line.
While the EB-5 program is designed to generate investment and jobs in the American economy, USCIS is currently experiencing an adjudication time of 29 months to 45.5 months for the EB-5 petitions (please see Appendix A). For EB-5, there is no premium processing available and applicants have no choice but to wait several years before their petition gets approved.
We wish to bring to your attention a perhaps-unintended drafting deficiency in the HR1044 bill that will impact and hurt the interests of people who are awaiting adjudication of their petition for a very long time. Although the intent of HR1044 bill is to protect the interests of existing applicants in line, the wording of the HR1044 bill says the ‘Do No Harm’ clause applies only to beneficiaries of ‘approved’ petition. The current text of the bill thus ignores the plight of the people who are waiting for their petition to be approved due to the multi-year adjudication delays by USCIS.
This deficiency in the HR1044 bill can be fixed by a minor single word substitution to say that the ‘Do No Harm’ clause applies to beneficiaries that have their petition ‘filed’ instead of ‘approved’ prior to the enactment of HR1044. Specifically, updating paragraph 4(B) with a single word substitution, for example:
(4) TRANSITION RULE FOR CURRENTLY APPROVED BENEFICIARIES.—(A) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding section 202 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended by this Act, immigrant visas under section 203(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(b)) shall be allocated such that no alien described in subparagraph (B) receives a visa later than the alien otherwise would have received said visa had this Act not been enacted.(B) ALIEN DESCRIBED.—An alien is described in this subparagraph if the alien is the beneficiary of a petition for an immigrant visa under section 203(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(b)) that was [remove "approved" and add "filed"] prior to the date of enactment of this Act.
As per last published DHS data, there are about 38,858 (please see Appendix B) EB-5 applicants waiting for their petition to be adjudicated by USCIS. If you remove the two most backlogged countries from this list, then the total number of applicants waiting for their petition to be adjudicated reduces to 16,785. These petitioners have already made about $ 3.5 billion worth of investment which would be at risk and they would further face the prospect that their children would age-out if our requested change is not made to the HR1044 bill.
We sincerely request you to take our plight into consideration and update HR1044 to apply the ‘Do No Harm’ clause to future-immigrants that have their immigrant petitions pending with the USCIS. This small change will make HR1044 fair to existing petitioners that must wait for the adjudication of their petitions due to USCIS taking many years to adjudicate their petition. Thank you for giving our request serious consideration.
EB5 Investor Groupeb5investorgroup@gmail.comTelegram Group - https://t.me/EB5VisaGroup
cc: Existing cosponsors of HR1044 bill.
Appendix A - http://bit.ly/2J8DYIaAppendix B - http://bit.ly/2WUbqXy
Note: We will send a similar letter to Senate members to make the same changes in S386 bill.