GAO: Immigrant Investor Program Has Yet to Adopt Fraud Detection Guidance
After Initial Report of Fraud Risks in EB-5, Paper Records Continue to Hamper Detection
WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is still unable to comprehensively identify and address fraud in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, according to a draft Government Accountability Office report that is due to be released this week. The draft report also found that USCIS has yet to establish guidance documents for fraud management in the program.
“The EB-5 program has had a long and well-documented history of fraud, abuse and national security vulnerabilities. The Obama Administration has not been doing enough to determine the source of the foreign investment funds, detect scams by bad actors in the United States or even thoroughly vet the individuals who are getting the green cards. So there’s no question about whether fraud exists in the program; the question is how much? This week’s report shows USCIS isn’t even capable of fully detecting fraud and abuse and hasn’t taken the steps to establish a fraud management plan. This is just more evidence that the program is in dire need of serious reforms. If we can’t fix these problems, it’s time we scrap the program entirely,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley.
Last year, GAO found that the EB-5 Program is susceptible to fraud and that its economic benefits are questionable. This week’s report identifies the program’s voluminous paper files as a source of weakness in identifying and addressing fraud.
Grassley and Senator Patrick Leahy, the Judiciary Committee’s ranking Democrat, introduced legislation last year to restore integrity to the EB-5 program by increasing oversight and accountability. The program is set to expire at the end of September, and the senators are calling on their colleagues to either make needed reforms to EB-5 or allow it to expire.