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Major EB-5 Regional Center Operators File Lawsuit Against USCIS

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Five leading EB-5 regional center operators, plus the EB-5 business organization Invest in the UNITED STATES (IIUSA), collectively filed a lawsuit today against United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The five regional centers – Civitas Capital Group, EB5 Capital, Golden Gate Global, CanAm Enterprises and Pine State Regional Center – and IIUSA have jointly retained Klasko Immigration Law Partners and Will McDermott & Emery LLP to act on their behalf. The lawsuit challenges USCIS’s unilateral disauthorization of the more than 600 Designated Area Centers in existence at the time the Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (“RIA”) EB-5 was signed into law, as well as the interpretation of the RIA’s USCIS which requires each regional center to reapply for designation and receive approval as such before commencing operations.

Plaintiffs argue that USCIS’s position is contrary to the plain meaning of the RIA and frustrates the intent of Congress in enacting the RIA.

“We are putting our different business interests aside and joining forces to achieve the common goal of protecting the rights of our customers and continuing to provide needed capital for economic development projects,” the plaintiffs said in a joint statement. “Through this action, we seek to protect the viability of this highly successful economic development and job creation program, the regional centers that facilitate the program, and the foreign investors who participate in the program. We believe that Congress had the intention to allow regional centers to get back to EB-5 business immediately – while striving to quickly come into compliance with the new integrity and other RIA requirements. In fact, there is consensus within the EB-5 industry that Congress intended to revive the Regional Center program as soon as the RIA went into effect on May 152022.”

Together, these five long-established operators operate 26 regional centers in 21 states. Over the years, they have facilitated $5.3 billion in EB-5 investments, developing 143 projects across the country, and they are responsible for creating more than 190,000 jobs for American workers. The EB-5 program has an extremely positive impact on the US economy. According to data collected and analyzed by IIUSA, between 2008 and 2021, the EB-5 program generated $37.4 billion in foreign direct investment to create and maintain jobs in the United States for Americans, all at no cost to the taxpayer.

To this end, the claimants funded the filing of a amicus curiae brief by IIUSA in a separate action against USCIS by Behring Regional Center currently pending in the District Court for the Northern District of California. “We believe that a global decision in the Behring case could serve the industry as a whole and deserves our support,” the plaintiffs added in their joint statement.

About Civitas Capital Group
Civitas Capital Group is an agile alternative investment manager, founded in 2009, offering attractive niche opportunities in US real estate. Civitas exists to create opportunities that enrich our communities, our investors and our employees. Driven by relentless creativity, Civitas digs deeper to uncover opportunities that others miss. Follow Civitas Capital Group on LinkedIn. To learn more at civitascapital.com.

SOURCE Civitas Capital Group