On January 20, 2021, President-Elect Joe Biden will take over the White House, signaling the end of the Trump administration. Assuming office in the midst of the most severe pandemic since the early 20th century, Biden will undoubtedly have his hands full, overseeing far more than just the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Nonetheless, the impending change of office has prompted those involved with EB-5 investments to question what changes the Biden administration will bring to the United States’ popular green-card-by-investment program.
Biden’s History with the EB-5 Program
A quick glance back through history reveals that President-Elect Biden has traditionally acted favorably toward the EB-5 program. In fact, he contributed to the program’s creation in 1990. As a U.S. senator representing Delaware, Biden voted in 1990 to pass the Immigration Act of 1990, which proposed the establishment of a residence-by-investment program, in conjunction with a number of other immigration programs. While it’s not possible to derive Biden’s opinion of the EB-5 program specifically based on his support for the act, it can at least be assumed that he didn’t oppose it.
The EB-5 program also came up during Biden’s time as vice president in the Obama administration. The administration indicated its support for the program, highlighting the economic advantages EB5 investment capital affords the United States, and acknowledged the EB-5 program’s role in creating new employment opportunities in targeted employment areas (TEAs). However, despite the administration’s clear support for the program, it failed to introduce long-awaited changes, including much-needed reform and a permanent reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program.
How Will the Biden Administration Treat the EB-5 Program?
Biden has not indicated his feelings toward the EB-5 program in recent times, but he has stressed his support of various forms of immigration. Given that the EB-5 program is a somewhat controversial program in the media, Biden may not directly voice his support, but if he lumps the EB-5 investment program in with the rest of his immigration plans, EB-5 stakeholders may enjoy a more favorable EB5 investment environment in the years to come.
Biden Wants to Modernize the U.S. Immigration System
Biden’s website states clearly that he intends to immediately work to modernize the U.S. immigration system, expanding economic opportunity across all 50 states by facilitating various routes of legal immigration. Fostering the EB-5 program and providing the reforms and changes it so desperately needs would certainly help expand economic opportunity across the United States, so hopefully Biden will consider the immense benefits of EB-5 investment in his immigration endeavors.
Biden Wants to Revitalize In-Need U.S. Cities with Immigration
The Biden administration recognizes the economic, cultural, and social advantages immigrants bring to their new cities. Employment-based immigration is a key factor in fostering entrepreneurship and growth in communities across the United States, including in cities that have suffered major job losses or economic decline over the past years or decades. Since the EB-5 program heavily incentivizes EB-5 investment in TEAs, the program can certainly leverage the benefits of immigration to foster the economic and population growth of in-need U.S. communities, including by creating new full-time employment opportunities. Hopefully, the Biden administration also recognizes this.
Biden Wants to Leverage the Economic Advantages of Employment-Based Immigration
The United States has long prided itself on its spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, and immigrants contribute immensely to the innovative and entrepreneurial nature of the United States. The Biden administration states on its website that foreign-born workers add around $2 trillion to the U.S. economy each year, and some of the most lucrative sectors of the U.S. economy, including technology, benefit heavily from the contributions of immigrant workers. Biden’s website explains that his government hopes to leverage the benefits of employment-based immigration to further the U.S. economy. Hopefully this ambition includes the EB-5 program, which injects millions of foreign EB5 investment capital straight into the U.S. economy annually.
The EB-5 Program Can Help Rebuild the U.S. Economy
With the world still in the throngs of the COVID-19 pandemic as Biden assumes office, rebuilding the U.S. economy will fall squarely on Biden’s shoulders. Facing the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the United States desperately needs foreign capital and successful, wealthy immigrants to help get its economy back on track. The EB-5 program can contribute significantly to “building back better,” as the Biden motto goes, particularly given its focus on TEAs, categorized by higher unemployment than the national average. As Biden steps into the White House, the EB-5 program stands ready to contribute millions in EB-5 investment funds to the U.S. economy, and Biden would be wise to facilitate this valuable source of foreign capital.