The EB-5 visa program that is blowing up in South Dakota was supposed to end last year. But Congress and the President extended it through Fiscal Year 2015 last year with Senate Bill 3245. The Senate passed it by unanimous consent, meaning Senators Tim Johnson and John Thune stayed consistent with their long-standing support for the EB-5 program.
Rep. Kristi Noem also showed no daylight between herself and her predecessor in South Dakota's lone House seat, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. Only three members of Congress voted against extending EB-5 last year: Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).
Selling green cards for $500,000 is an easy way to infuse the American economy with foreign investment. But the EB-5 program appears to be easy bait for financial and political shenanigans in South Dakota, Texas, and elsewhere. Perhaps South Dakota's economic development scandal will provoke Senators Johnson and Thune and Rep. Noem to realize that the EB-5 program is bad immigration policy that creates too much temptation for "entrepreneurs" with shaky business plans and government officials who see an unwatched cookie jar. Time to reverse your position, Tim, John, and Kristi, and propose a repeal of the EB-5 program.