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Chinese Immigrants May Fund Affordable Housing in U.S.

August 10, 2015
Plain English Version

eb-5 investorsThe EB-5 visa program allows rich people to migrate to the United States. As the song says, “It is nice work if you can get it.”

To get the EB-5 green card, you have to invest at least $500,000 in a project that creates jobs in America. Most of the people with that much money are from China.

H-1B visas are issued for highly skilled technology immigrants. There has been misuse. The program can be used to replace American workers. Foreign workers cost less.

As in the H-1B visa program, an industry is forming around the EB-5 program. Companies in China, India and the U.S. are making it easier to use the programs to get here.

The city of Miami, Florida had an idea. Could they use EB-5 visas to raise money to build affordable housing? The answer is probably yes.

They are working on it. Miami lost a lot of lower-cost housing to the building of luxury units. The work force lost places to live. The city opened a center to attract EB-5 investors for the building of lower-cost housing. Now they are working on the details.

Who wins and who loses? It is hard to say. People who are not rich see that money can buy entry into the United States. That goes against a sense of fairness.

Many Americans need affordable housing. They say the source of construction money does not matter.

In fact, money always attracts interest. People see money as a way to get what they want. Some have learned how to use government programs for their own profit. It is all legal.

Compared to what is happening to immigrants all over the world, immigrants to the U.S. at least have a set of rules to go by.

Source: The Wall Street Journal August 5, 2015


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