The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services should get help from the Department of Commerce to oversee projects funded by the federal EB-5 investment-for-green-cards immigration program, a Washington think tank says in a report released Wednesday. The Brookings Institution’s study agreed with a December report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General that found that the visa program for foreign investors goes far beyond the immigration agency’s mission and it should better tap the business expertise of other government entities.
The program has faced some criticism because it’s been used to fund several failed projects, including the idled Northern Beef Packers plant in South Dakota and a planned hotel and conference center in Chicago. Audrey Singer, who co-authored the Brookings Institution report, said transferring the functions of the EB-5 program that have to do with vetting business plans and determining whether an economic development project created enough jobs to the Commerce Department or another agency could make the program more efficient.