-A chance for you to legally live and work in the U.S.A. with a legal green card.While we apparently put no value on residency in the cases of those DV lottery winners, the EB-5 program asks for quite a bit:
-50,000 winners and their families will win a US green card every year!
-Easy online registration
-Double chances for married people to win the green card lottery.
-Winners will receive a FREE airline ticket from USAGCLS*
For a $500,000 investment in a distressed area, a foreigner and his immediate family become eligible for conditional green cards. They become permanent a few years later upon evidence that the investment has created at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers.Would-be migrants may also become eligible by pumping $1 million into less risky ventures. This strikes me as a great way to go about granting residency:
Under the program, developers sometimes working with local officials apply to the Immigration agency for "regional center" status, typically in a distressed area. Once approved, a regional center markets its program overseas to investors who become equity partners.Making the investments Americans won't make. Really, that's not just a bankrupt talking point. Natives won't put money into these projects. It's not for a lack of capital, but because they can realize better returns elsewhere. These aren't lucrative projects.
The projects promise only modest returns. But that isn't the main concern for investors such as Sungtae Kim, a Korean software entrepreneur who wanted to come to the U.S. to give his daughters better opportunities.
So these investors are putting money into blighted places where the expected ROI is too low to justify the risks assumed. That doesn't sound like something to necessarily be celebrated, but keep in mind that many of projects like these would be on the receiving end of governmental pork spending if not for outside investors.
The requirement that a prospective resident be able to put up at least $500,000 proxies for beneficial attributes like above average IQ and industriousness, and limited time preference. The visa also puts foreigners, instead of US taxpayers, on the hook for things like the development of energy alternatives that may not be economically viable (like biofuels) and consequently struggle to attract sufficient investment, as well as dubious 'revitalization' efforts that often become tax dollar sinkholes.
Unlike the Visa Lottery or the lack of serious border and interior immigration enforcement, the program values citizenship. That aspiring citizens will put $500,000 or more into financially imprudent projects for the chance of eventually acquiring citizenship (keep in mind the project must be shown to have created at least ten domestic jobs for the grant of temporary residency to be expanded to an offer of citizenship) demonstrates that the right to residency is worth a lot.
That there are potential immigrants who place that much value on it illustrates how foolish our tolerance of illegal immigration is. We are passing up a major opportunity for real contributers, who are willing to start contributing before they even arrive, while tolerating the residency of millions of unskilled immigrants who create little wealth, depress wages, send tens of billions out of the US economy in the form of remittances in return for nothing, and burden the US with a host of other costly externalities, like poor academic performance and gang violence.
I'd like to see a question along the lines of "Why when we can attract immigrants who are willing to pony up half a million dollars to come here do we allow others to pay a coyote $3,000 to lead them through deserts where scientists are trying conduct their fieldwork?" asked of the candidates as their running around Iowa and New Hampshire.
The EB-5 visa program is far from being utilized to capacity:
In the financial year that ended Sept. 30, the immigration agency awarded 803 conditional EB-5 green cards to investors and their families, up from 247 in 2004. Mr. Berez hopes by 2011 to be issuing all 10,000 of the green cards available each year under the program -- a potential of nearly $2 billion in annual investments, he estimates.Immigrants, both legal and illegal, are more likely to settle among the lower classes than natives are:
Both immigrants and illegal aliens are more likely to be poor and to use welfare programs than native-born Americans because they come to the country with lower levels of education, according to a new study looking at U.S. Census Bureau data.That immigrants are more likely to be destitute welfare users than the population at large is easily changeable.
Why not have something like the EB-5 visa program determine to whom we issue all of our visas? Determine the total number issued and the investment required to obtain one based on whatever the optimal amount of annual immigration is agreed to be. Why not introduce other requirements, possibly in lieu of investments, like a deposit that is only returned after several years of continual residency can be established? Introduce non-economic requirements as well, concerning things English language fluency, educational attainment, physical health, occupational status, and the like.
There are potentially 5 billion people who want to come stateside. To live in the US is to enjoy a prized existence. Why not take advantage of that by raising the bar high for those who are granted the right to do so (and ensure that those who are not authorized to be in the US are not allowed to get here in the first place, and not allowed to remain here if they manage to make it in nonetheless), and in the process take in the cream of the crop among those 5 billion or so people?