Immigration Law

EB-5 Audit Report: DHS OIG Gives USCIS Low Marks

"Our audit objective was to determine whether the USCIS’ Employment-Based Fifth Preference regional center program is administered and managed effectively.  Several conditions prevent USCIS from administering and managing the Employment-Based Fifth Preference regional center program effectively. Specifically—

• The laws and regulations governing the program do not give USCIS the authority to deny or terminate a regional center’s participation in the Employment-Based Fifth Preference program based on fraud or national security concerns;
• The program extends beyond current USCIS mission to secure America’s promise as a nation of immigrants; and
• USCIS is unable to demonstrate the benefits of foreign investment into the U.S. economy.

Additionally, USCIS has difficulty ensuring the integrity of the Employment-Based Fifth Preference regional center program.  USCIS does not always ensure that regional centers meet all program eligibility requirements, and USCIS officials differently interpret and apply Code of Federal Regulations and policies.  Furthermore, when external parties inquired about program activities USCIS did not always document their decisions and responses to these inquiries, making the Employment-Based Fifth Preference regional center program appear vulnerable to perceptions of internal and external influences.  As a result, USCIS is limited in its ability to prevent fraud or national security threats that could harm the U.S.; and it cannot demonstrate that the program is improving the U.S. economy and creating jobs for U.S. citizens as intended by Congress." - DHS OIG, Dec. 12, 2013.