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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Issues of corruption, fraud in investor-visa program date back two decades -- By David Sherfinski, The Washington Times

Suspected abuses end up with 1 prosecution 

The Homeland Security Department's inspector general is investigating the program and the former director of USCIS, Alejandro Mayorkas, whom President Obama has since promoted to be deputy secretary of Homeland Security.An investor-visa program Congress wants to permanently extend was rife with fraud and corruption from its start more than two decades ago, with hundreds of millions of dollars improperly diverted as government officials lamented a persistent lack of oversight and an inability to investigate or prosecute the perpetrators.

Internal documents obtained by The Washington Times about the EB-5 investor visa program called for investigations into a handful of companies that appeared to be abusing the system — though only one of those companies seems to have been prosecuted. One memo said a plan to launch a full investigation was derailed by a lack of resources and by the perpetrators' efforts to thwart it.

In a March 2002 Immigration and Naturalization Service memo, Senior Special Agent Elizabeth M. Goyer said the EB-5 program was dominated by a handful of private companies, most of them run by or closely associated with former high-ranking INS and State Department officials who were making money from being the middlemen on the visas.

"At least two of these companies were owned and operated by convicted felons who engaged such former officials to promote their fraudulent EB-5 schemes," Ms. Goyer's memo read, recommending that a task force be formed to conduct a full investigation and clean up the program.

More than a decade later, the EB-5 program is again under scrutiny after reports that high-ranking Democrats pressured U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, one of the agencies into which the INS split, to approve visas over the objections of career officers who deemed the applications to be unqualified.

The Homeland Security Department's inspector general is investigating the program and the former director of USCIS, Alejandro Mayorkas, whom President Obama has since promoted to be deputy secretary of Homeland Security.

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