WHEREAS, EB5 is the designation for the fifth employment-based preference immigrant visa category established by Congress in 1990; and
WHEREAS, EB5 allocates 10,000 visas annually to foreign investors and their families who invest at least $1 million (or $500,000 in a target employment area) which must generate at least 10 jobs; and
WHEREAS, Congress established the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program in 1992 to create regional centers which aid foreign investors by directing and professionally managing their investments while concentrating pooled investments in defined distressed economic zones; and
WHEREAS, Congress has extended the program five times over the last 19 years; and
WHEREAS, there are currently 194 regional centers located in 43 States; and
WHEREAS, since 2003, through regional centers, over $3.1 billion in foreign capital has been invested in projects in the United States, creating over 65,000 jobs, with no cost to the taxpayers; and
WHEREAS, in 2011 alone the regional centers program created 25,000 jobs through $1.25 billion in direct foreign investment; and
WHEREAS, in 2012 the regional centers program is on pace for a record breaking year of U.S. job creation and capital formation (coming closer to full implementation than ever); and
WHEREAS, if fully implemented the program could provide in excess of $2.5 billion in foreign investment each year; and
WHEREAS, the legislation authorizing the regional centers expires on September 30, 2012; and
WHEREAS, the failure to renew the program will result in the loss of billions of dollars in badly needed investments and tens of thousands of new jobs in rural and economically distressed urban areas; and
WHEREAS, legislation, S. 642 and H.R. 2972 has been introduced in both the House and the Senate to permanently authorize the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program; and
WHEREAS, delays in passage of the legislation is causing EB5 investment to dry up.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the U.S. Congress to pass S. 642 and H.R. 2972 as expeditiously as possible to facilitate foreign investment and to generate new jobs.