Now that the election is over and South Dakota Republicans have held their noses and pushed their flabby candidate into the U.S. Senate, can Republicans finally speak some truth about the EB-5 visa investment program? Attorney General Marty Jackley acknowledges some of the fundamental flaws in EB-5 as conducted under Senator-Elect Mike Rounds's gubernatorial guidance:
Jackley shares the arbitrator’s concern in the Darley case where the State of South Dakota was sued about who was really profiting from the program. It was lawyers, Jackley said, who “made an extreme profit off of this” [Todd Epp, "With Caveats, Jackley Says Troubled EB-5 Program Could Be Tool for South Dakota," Northern Plains News, 2014.11.14].
I wonder how attorneys Jeff Sveen and Tim Engel, who spent many hours negotiating the state's privatization of the EB-5 program, feel about the use of extreme here.
Jackley shows some hope for the Republican soul by questioning the economic-development-über-alles mindset that dominates the thinking of his up-ticket pals:
The Attorney General also says the country needs to look at whether green cards for investments that creates jobs is in the nation’s best interest.
“We’re going on a national debate right now on what’s right for immigration,” Jackley said. “And I think one of the concerns expressed is just because you are creating jobs doesn’t necessarily mean you ought to get that visa, so to speak” [Epp, 2014.11.14].
Dang: get Jackley to say that just one month earlier, and he'd have been committing high partisan treason by echoing Democrat Rick Weiland's criticism of EB-5 as bad policy.
Rounds, his EB-5 czar Joop Bollen, and their apologists have responded to almost every criticism of EB-5 by shouting Money and jobs! Money and jobs! Maybe I'm just dazzled by sunny Sunday optimism, but AG Jackley is signaling that he's tired of covering for other people's greed and would like to get back to concentrating on law and justice.