为何美国EB-5移民变法,是大势所趋?看美工会如何发声

这段时间EB-5变法的事情,闹得纷纷扬扬。当前在美国要废掉EB-5计划的呼声几乎没有,但是要对EB-5进行大手术,要能将EB-5投资真正引入到乡村,创造出真正就业的呼声,非常高涨。其实,就6月4日的新提案而言,TEA和就业创造的新条款,确实是除了涨价之外,对于EB-5行业之未来走向,将有最最重大影响的两个领域。也许,EB-5行业人士对于这两项新条款会非常担忧,并且会通过各种政治势力进行游说,但是就EB5Sir本人而言,对于这两个条款能否翻盘,是持悲观态度的,毕竟这两项变革代表了众多力量的呼声。

美国移民

今天,我们来看下一个北美工会组织,UNITE HERE,就EB-5新提案的新闻稿。UNITE HERE是一个代表着25万个在北美从事酒店、赌场、餐厅业者的工会组织。众所周知,美国的工会可是不好惹的,本文有理有据,看看吧,这么多项目,你们说创造了上千个就业,但实际上你们真正只雇用了百多个酒店业的工人,你们这些滑头的资本家可怎么给酒店行业的工人朋友们交代呢?

读了本文之后,起码EB5Sir本人,对于新提案中所强调的直接就业条款,已经不报太大翻盘的希望了(TEA条款而言,本来就不报希望的了)。本文由业内朋友Mary翻译,特此感谢。

建议具有争议的联邦投资移民签证计划做出改革

UNITE HERE:EB-5项目需要在就业方面加强问责制和透明度

华盛顿特区 - 外国富豪获得绿卡的具有争议的联邦计划,将发生改变。

昨天,重新授权EB-5区域中心计划的提案由美国参议院司法委员会主席Charles E. Grassley连同高级参议员PatrickJ.Leahy共同提出,该提案就是参议院法案,S1501。此提案对于当前的联邦EB-5区域中心计划做了延长和改革,外国投资者就是根据此法案为他们及各自的家庭成员拿到绿卡的,每个投资人需要投资50万美元在一项业务中,并创造10个直接或间接的就业机会在高失业地区,即TEA(目标就业区)。

即使有了新提议的变革,一些批评者仍旧表示担忧,关于EB-5投资究竟最终创造了多少就业机会(特别是优质的就业机会),且这些就业机会能持续多久;TEA的高失业率的界定;从USCIS(移民局)获得资讯的困难问题。(USCIS负责监管EB-5计划,包括TEA和就业创造的认定)。

自2008年以来,随着区域中心的不断扩展,酒店行业的EB-5投资有了急剧的增长。这些酒店项目承诺将在经济欠发展地区创造数以千计的酒店工作和建筑工作。然而,公众无法得知这些项目是否最终实现了它们的承诺。

UNITE HERE,一个工会组织,代表着25万个在美国和加拿大从事酒店、赌场、餐厅服务的工人,一直以来都在积极地关注着那些寻找和使用EB-5资金的酒店类型项目,并且能够分享对于几个当地项目的调查和分析数据,内容如下:

1. 在芝加哥,区域中心GO USA EB-5,代表开发商SMASHotels,正在为一个位于富裕的Streeterville街区的高档酒店募集EB-5投资人,该酒店是万豪国际酒店品牌旗下,且拥有192间客房。

> 在Streeterville街区购房居住的家庭,其年中位数的收入可以达到167,321美元。

> 虽然该街区有奢华的环境设施,富裕的居民,但是联邦政府很有可能决定是否在Streeterville街区使用单一的人口普查标准去判定一个高失业率的TEA。

2. 在费城,90个EB-5投资者共集资4,500万美金用于建造一个穿过独立大厅拥有268间客房的Kimpton Monaco 酒店。

> 2014年年底,90个投资人需要向移民局表明这个酒店已经创造了900个直接或间接就业机会。根据CanAm 公司,一家负责募集EB-5资金的有限责任公司,该项目已经创造1,387个工作岗位。
> USCIS允许项目计算直接就业,从酒店运营中产生的间接就业或衍生就业,以及项目建筑期间产生的间接就业。费城提供的文件中显示,从2011年其,Monaco 酒店项目仅仅创造了177个,我们认为是直接就业的工作机会。这就意味着,余下的1,210个CanAm 公司所说的Monaco 酒店项目创造的就业机会,都是间接就业或者衍生就业。

> 通过信息自由法案,UNITE HERE从USCIS获取的资料,仅仅是一份CanAm就此预测模型的,重度删节报告。

3. 同样,在旧金山,Kor集团计划重开拥有135间客房的Renoir Hotel,定位为旧金山顶尖级的精品酒店。

> Kor集团为这个项目募集了80个EB-5投资者,募集资金达4,000万美元。作为80个投资者的回报,开发商需要证明该项目创造了至少800个就业机会。在2013年,开发商向一个当地机构报告,该项目将直接雇用155人。

> 开发商在该报告中也指出,项目除了募集EB-5资金外,还通过联邦新市场税收抵免和历史税收抵免,而获得融资。

4. 在华盛顿州,Yareton投资管理公司与塔科马市,在市政府所拥有的土地上,为建设一家拥有300间客房的会议中心酒店,达成开发协议。

> Yareton公司已经明确了其将在该酒店项目中使用EB-5资金的想法,然而,至今尚未将其区域中心的范围扩大到,包括塔科马市。

> 该区域中心是为了一个位于Des Moines的,尚未完成的项目设立,该项目是喜来登酒店旗下的Four Points酒店,项目接受EB-5投资资金和额外的公共补贴。

> USCIS最初阐明其意图否认区域中心覆盖Des Moines,但在政治干预之后,该区域中心获批。

“我们十分兴奋,EB-5计划将会为需要的人创造优质的就业机会,” UNITE HERE的酒店事业部总监Marie Agriesti说道,“但我们希望EB-5的实际情况符合该计划描述的情况,特别是当它涉及到更多的透明度,更容易获得关于EB-5投资项目的准确信息,以及USCIS为确保就业机会数量的精确和合理,更积极地提高区域中心标准。”

文章来源:unitehere.org。

Changes Proposed to Controversial Federal Visa Program for Foreign Investors
Hotel workers union: EB-5 deals need increased accountability and transparency around jobs

Washington, D.C.–Changes may be coming to a controversial federal program through which wealthy foreign investors can secure US green cards.

Yesterday, a proposal to re-authorize the EB-5 Regional Center Program was put forth by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), leaders of the Senate Judiciary committee, as Senate Bill 1501. The bill extends and makes changes to the federal EB-5 Regional Center Program – through which wealthy foreign citizens can secure US green cards for themselves and their family members in exchange for investing $500,000 each in businesses that create 10 direct, indirect or induced jobs in “high unemployment” Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs).

Even with the proposed changes, some critics remain concerned about how many jobs (especially good jobs) EB-5 investments actually create and for how long, the designation of the “high unemployment” TEAs, and the difficulty in accessing information from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which runs the program, about these TEAs and jobs created.

Since 2008, the hotel industry has seen a sharp increase in EB-5 investments, fueled by an expansion of the Regional Center Program. These hotel projects promise to create thousands of hospitality and construction jobs in areas of high economic need. However, not enough information is available to the public about the actual outcomes of these investments. UNITE HERE, a union that represents over 250,000 hotel, gaming and food service workers across the US and Canada, has been actively monitoring hotel development projects seeking and using EB-5 investments, and can share its research and analysis regarding several local projects including the following:

In Chicago, the Regional Center GO USA EB-5, representing developer SMASHotels, is soliciting EB-5 investment overseas for a new 192 room “upscale” Marriott International Autograph-brand hotel in the affluent Streeterville neighborhood.
The median family income in the zip code that houses Streeterville is $167,321 per year.
Despite the luxurious surroundings and wealthy residents of the neighborhood, the federal government is likely deciding whether or not to designate a single census tract within Streeterville as a high-unemployment TEA.

In Philadelphia, 90 EB-5 investors were recruited to provide $45 million in financing for the 268-room Kimpton Monaco Hotel across from Independence Hall.
By late 2014, those investors needed to show USCIS that the hotel had created 900 direct and indirect jobs. According CanAm Enterprises, LLC, the firm that put together the EB-5 financing deal for the Philadelphia Monaco, that project has created 1,387 jobs.
The USCIC permits projects to count direct jobs, jobs indirectly created or induced jobs from hotel operations, and indirect jobs created through construction spending. A City of Philadelphia document from 2011 indicates that the Hotel Monaco project had created only 177 jobs, which we believe to be direct jobs at the hotel. This means that the remaining 1,210 jobs CanAm says the Philadelphia Monaco project created were indirect or induced jobs.
In response to a FOIA request, USCIS provided to UNITE HERE only a heavily redacted copy of CanAm’s model for these projections.
Similarly, in San Francisco, the Kor Group plans to reopen the 135 room Renoir Hotel as the boutique Proper Hotel San Francisco.
Kor raised $40 million in EB-5 financing for the project from 80 EB-5 investors. To support 80 EB-5 investors, the developer will have demonstrate at least 800 jobs related to the project. In 2013, the developer reported to a local agency the hotel will directly employ 155 people.
The developer also reported in 2013 that, beyond EB-5 financing, the project is benefiting from financing with federal New Market Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits.
In Washington State, Yareton Investment & Management has entered into a development agreement with the City of Tacoma for the construction of a 300-room convention center hotel on what is now city-owned land.
Yareton has stated its intention to use substantial EB-5 financing for the hotel, but has yet to expand its existing EB-5 regional center to include Tacoma.
The existing regional center was established for an as-yet uncompleted project in Des Moines, Washington, a Four Points by Sheraton Hotel which received EB-5 investment funding and additional public subsidy.
USCIS initially stated its intent to deny that regional center covering Des Moines, but the regional center was later approved following political intervention.

“We are obviously enthusiastic about programs that create good jobs for people that need them,” said Jo Marie Agriesti, UNITE HERE’s Hotel Division Director. “But we want the reality of EB-5 to match the rhetoric surrounding the program, especially when it comes to more transparency, better access to accurate information on EB-5 funded projects, and a more aggressive USCIS holding regional centers to higher standards for accurate and sensible job-creation numbers.”

 

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