Report: Immigration Agency Should Seek EB-5 Help

IMG_4496ABC News, 2/5/14

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.

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Special event at Brookings Intitution on organized crime in Mexico

On September 22nd, 2011, Brookings Institution was host to the event “Tackling Organized Crime in Mexico: Challenges and Opportunities”. The event featured the Mexico Institute’s director Andrew Selee as a panelist.

Over the past decade, certain regions of Mexico have faced ferocious violence and escalating corruption tied to drug trafficking syndicates and other related organized crime. The Mexican government has fought to establish effective security and socioeconomic policies to combat crime and the allure of the drug trafficking organizations, and has worked to reform police forces and the justice system. Under the weight of these challenges, relations between the U.S. and Mexico have become strained, and will only intensify as the 2012 U.S. presidential election nears. What’s more, Mexico’s crime has spilled over into Central America as well.

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Report: U.S. Should Give Preference to Skilled Immigrants Over Relatives

Green CardWashington Post, 10/6/09

The United States should cut back on the admission of immigrants who are extended-family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents to make room for more skilled workers, a new independent panel recommended Tuesday.

The 20-member panel, set up by the Brookings Institution and Duke University’s Kenan Institute for Ethics, reflected an “unprecedented” range of liberal and conservative thinkers, and was designed to provide a model rather than a specific road map for policy makers as the Obama administration hopes to take up immigration reform early next year, said Noah Pickus, director of the institute and convener of the group.

The panel’s 36-page report, released Tuesday, added weight to calls for Congress to create a standing commission to advise it in setting future immigration levels, variations of which have been proposed by the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union and the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Obama Names Eight Envoys

New York Times, 6/4/2009

President Obama on Thursday announced eight new ambassadorial appointments, naming three big campaign donors and fundraisers to plum posts in Canada, the Bahamas and South Africa. He also went outside the foreign service for ambassadors to Mexico and Saudi Arabia; both were modest donors to his campaign but have military and diplomatic experience.

For ambassador to Mexico, Mr. Obama named Carlos Pascual, now with the Brookings Institution. He was the United States ambassador to Ukraine from 2000 to 2003 and has diplomatic experience in reconstruction and stabilization in Europe and elsewhere.

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