Via Facsimile (202) 514-0198
Ms. Jacquelyn A. Bednarz
Acting Assistant Commissioner for Adjudications
Immigration and Naturalization Service
425 Eye Street, NW
Washington, DC 20536
Dear Ms. Bednarz,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for coming to Houston last week to participate in the panel discussion and to inform AILA members on the latest update regarding the investor visa situation. To briefly introduce myself, I am currently serving as the chair of AILA’s Investor Committee. With so many rapid changes in the policies surrounding the EB-5 program, I feel that it is vital for there to be an open discussion and cooperation between AILA and INS in order to facilitate the adjudication of EB-5 cases and to ensure the success of the EB-5 program as intended by Congress.
The following comments are submitted on behalf of Investor Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) in response to the above referenced INS memorandum relating to certain I-526 and I-829 petitions that have been placed on hold since December 1, 1997.
As you may be aware, AILA is a voluntary bar association of more than 5,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach in the field of immigration and nationality law. Through its members, AILA has significant experience in the area of U.S. immigration law and is uniquely qualified to evaluate the impact of this memorandum and the hold on adjudicating these petitions in general on the individuals, families and businesses who are being affected.
The following comments were selected from among those solicited by the AILA Investor Committee. Since time is of the essence, I would appreciate it if INS promptly responds to the questions, concerns and suggestion listed below.
If INS does not plan to follow this recommendation, why not?
The AILA Investor Committee recommends that INS act quickly to save the immigrant investor category, which was originally designed to attract foreign investments and create jobs for U.S. workers, but which now have been strangled by an unreasonably long delay. We hope to see a rapid and positive resolution to this hold that has paralyzed the EB-5 program and we hope that INS recognizes its duty to adjudicate these petitions as quickly as possible, consistent with the law and regulations.
On behalf of AILA Investor Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to present these issues to you and we thank you in advance for your time and consideration in preparing a response. I can be available for any question or any further discussion regarding the above concerns at the Service’s convenience.
Very truly yours,
Linda W. Lau
Chair of AILA Investors Committee
c.c.: Elissa McGovern,
AILA Associate Director for Liaison
Ellen Ma Lee, Chair
AILA INS Liaison