U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Unlawful EB-5 Quota Counting Policy Separates Families and Undermines the U.S. Economy
Although Congress intended that the EB-5 visa numbers it set aside be used for qualifying investors, the Department of State has systematically diluted this visa pool by individually counting the spouses and children of investors against the EB-5 quota. This “Counting Policy” unlawfully erodes the number of visas available for actual investors, prolongs wait times, separates immigrant families, and undermines the U.S. economy. Because most EB-5 investors are Chinese and Vietnamese, and the INA limits the number of visas that can be issued to the nationals of any one country, the backlog currently affects investors from China and Vietnam. As a result of the Counting Policy, Chinese investors who file an EB-5 visa petition now are expected to wait 16 years before they become eligible to immigrate to the United States. The Vietnamese backlog is also increasing substantially. Backlogs for EB-5 investors from India are also expected to be announced in the near future. The Counting Policy suppresses the EB-5 Program’s full potential for economic growth and job-creation. It threatens to shutter regional centers, like Plaintiff American Lending Center, that recruit EB-5 applicants and sponsor job-creating projects in the United States. And it needlessly harms EB-5 investors, who are forced to languish in ever-growing visa queues while their children grow up and “age-out” of eligibility to immigrate to the United States as their dependents. As a result of these backlogs, investors who have given up their livelihoods in China, left their jobs, enrolled their children in English language schools that have taken them off the standard educational track for advancement in Chinese society, and sold their assets in anticipation of moving to the United States now find themselves languishing in an artificially congested visa queue.
U.S. Skating Champ Denied Entry by Nonsensical Visa Policy
Christina Carriera is a citizen and national of Canada currently lawfully present in the United States as an athlete performing at an internationally recognized level of performance. She is half of the two member team of Carriera/Pomomarenko, the highest ranked competitive junior ice dance team in the world as ranked by the governing body of the sport, the International Skating Union (ISU). In May she applied to USCIS to be classified as an alien of extraordinary ability so as to be able to compete for the United States at all international events, including, hopefully, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denial of this petition was arbitrary and capricious in the extreme in that the USCIS’s weird conclusion that “silver and gold awards at national and international .. ice skating competitions,” are not “nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor, because it is limited to members of that association and participants of those competitions” is entirely irrational, in that such limitations on the winners of such awards is completely unrelated to the ultimate issue of whether they are nationally or internationally recognized. In fact, World Junior Championship awards are the highest the world of junior ice dance skating has to offer. Furthermore, consistent application of the USCIS’s reasoning would also make the Heisman Trophy or the National Football League’s Most Valuable Player Award not a recognized prize or award for excellence in the field of endeavor, because the Heisman Trophy is limited to students at accredited universities and the MVP award to members of National Football League teams and, of course, to win either award one must necessarily have participated in college or NFL football games, respectively. 4. Indeed, the application of this reasoning would even make an Olympic Gold Medal not a nationally or internationally recognized award, since it too is awarded only to members of the various competing states’ Olympic teams who actually participate in the Olympic Games. its nonsensical refusal to recognize her awards in the field of junior ice dancing (such as, to cite but one prominent example, the Gold Medal in the 2018 United States National Junior Championships) solely “because it is limited to members of that association and participants of those competitions” renders the decision denying this petition arbitrary, capricious, and in fact, absurd.
International Students At Risk by New Visa Policy
The United States is a center of global education. Because many of the world’s leading colleges, universities, and research institutions are located here, more than a million individuals travel to the United States each year to study and teach. On August 9, 2018, the United states adopted a new policy that is purposefully designed to impose three- and ten-year bars to reentry on tens of thousands of these individuals. This policy is a massive reconfiguration of the immigration laws relating to higher education. This policy is intentionally designed to impose tens of thousands of reentry bars and accordingly, will result in the three- or ten-year banishment of untold numbers of international students and exchange visitors acting in good faith. The imposition of a reentry bar on an international student or exchange visitor has a drastic effect on her life. It will preclude her from completing her degree program, deprive her of employment opportunities, and exclude her from friends and family living in the United States. For those students and visitors who have chosen to teach or work in the United States, imposition of a three- or ten-year reentry bar will fundamentally and irreparably injure their lives. It also imposes a financial harm on institutions in terms of lost tuition dollars and local communities in terms of foregone discretionary expenditures by bias holders.