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How the EB-5 visa program helps not only wealthy investors but also underserved U.S. communities

How the EB-5 visa program helps not only wealthy investors but also underserved U.S. communities
Chinese visitors seek information about the U.S. government's EB-5 visa program at an Invest in America Summit in Beijing on May 7, 2017. (Andy Wong / Associated Press)

To the editor: All ways of gaining permanent residency in the United States have their challenges. But ending the EB-5 investor visa program, which requires green-card applicants to invest $1 million in American businesses, will close a pathway to the U.S. and punish underserved neighborhoods nationwide.

Consider NoMa, a once-blighted area in Washington, D.C. Roughly $150 million in EB-5 investments sourced by my company made housing, retail and 4,600 new jobs there possible. EB-5 investments made by our clients have created more than 30,000 jobs nationwide in places like Los Angeles, Nashville and Baltimore.

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Our clients choose the U.S. over nearly 50 other investment-based immigration programs around the globe, making the conscious decision to start their American dream by creating 10 living-wage U.S. jobs — an incredibly humbling accomplishment.

Reform of this program is essential. Congress should get that done. But I believe welcoming the oppressed and invigorating communities through this investment tool is not a zero-sum game — we earn gains together.

Angelique Brunner, Washington

The writer is founder and president of EB5 Capital, a company that helps foreign investors gain permanent residency in the United States.

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