Congress approves 5-day extension of controversial EB-5 program, which was set to lapse Friday.
A controversial program that gave green cards to foreigners in exchange for $500,000 investments to the U.S. economy won't lapse immediately.
Congress voted to extend the deadline to decide whether it will keep the EB-5 program as part of a short-term spending bill approved Friday by the U.S. House. The spending bill will keep the government running through Wednesday while lawmakers negotiate the $1.15 trillion budget. It was approved by the Senate on Thursday.
The EB-5 program comprises a small part of that budget. It was set to lapse at midnight Friday without legislative action.
The program has come under fire in recent months as multiple players in South Dakota's EB-5 scandal have sought damages and answers through litigation.
Last week, a group of 35 Chinese investors filed a lawsuit against the state of South Dakota, SDRC Inc. and SDRC’s principal, Joop Bollen, who went from being a state employee to an EB-5 deal-maker with exclusive rights to manage the federal program in South Dakota. The 35 were part of a group of 70 Chinese investors who each paid $500,000 into the Northern Beef Packers Plant in Aberdeen. They lost their money when the plant went bankrupt.
In September, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which administers the program nationally, notified the state of its intent to drop South Dakota from the program. The state responded in October, asking not to be dropped, and it sued SDRC and Bollen. Bollen countersued last month, alleging the state defamed his company.
- South Dakota Regional Center Inc.
- Joop Bollen
- Northern Beef Packers III
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
- South Dakota
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